Back in February, Dark Mean from Hamilton, Ontario, released a superb four-track EP with a great name, Samuel the Phoenix. Formed in 2012, the young trio has focused on writing melodic, dreamy indie pop-folk.
Similar to early Death Cab for Cutie, lead singer Mark Dean’s voice doesn’t soar above the music, but instead it is blends with the strum of his and Sandy Johnston’s guitar, the slight touches of keys, and the rhythm and pace provided by Billly Holmes on drums. The title track is the most atmospheric of the four songs, as the song rises to its peak in the middle of the song before settling into a slow, acoustic groove. It’s prolonged denouement recalls The Uglysuit’s “…And We Became the Sunshine”.
“Albatross” is a mix of indie pop and Americana, as the addition of horns, piano, organ, and splashes of keys create an eclectic but catchy mix, akin to what The Head and the Heart released earlier this year.
“High Heaven” is a slow, melodic, haunting track, recalling an image or a dream of someone from the past or possibly the future. It’s lo-f sound coupled with … sing-speak is similar to style on The Bright Smoke’s fantastic EP. “The Last One” is a mesmerizing slow burner. It’s a track that belongs on a television drama with its flair and lyrics about finding love.
You can download the EP on their Bandcamp site, iTunes, and eMusic. They also released a self-titled long player in 2011. This is a young band with a very bright future. Maybe Degrassi will feature them in a future show.
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