Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dead Western Plains - Alta

"The house I’m in is surely moving" begins the remarkable first single from Tucson's Dead Western Plains. The ever-shifting collage that is “Alta” takes on so many different hues in its five and a half minutes that it's a challenge to follow at first, certainly a rewarding one. It's a heady bit of orchestration, but marvelously executed.

The song opens with a soft organ, some whistling and background harmonies, then springs up with bass and drums and the line "Spies! Spies! Watching me sleep, sharpening teeth when my head slips beneath the sheets." From there on, it's sort of a roller coaster, where instrumental shifts abound and the lyrics turn toward life's big mysteries with lines like "Jesus won’t answer your wicked souls" and "If the heavens won’t hold you tight, the ground surely will."

The most obvious comparisons for Dead Western Plains are like-minded indie experimentalists like Animal Collective and at times - like on B-side "Gift Horse in The Mouth - Arcade Fire. But, and maybe it takes a fellow Tucsonan to hear this, there's also a certain desert airiness even in the songs' denser moments.

The band also released several remixes of "Alta," offering a glimpse at how many different musical ideas went into the debut single.

Both Young Mothers and video followed their Fort Lowell Records singles with full length albums about nine months later. Perhaps a Dead Western Plains album is just a few months away?

Dead Western Plains - Alta

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