I often wonder if it's the fate of indie folk to fester and curdle into some nondescript puddle of noise, or become the textual equivalent of a blank stare. Yet after Fleet Foxes' meticulously-composed Helplessness Blues was released last month, my hopes soared for the lofty fate of the genre. Now another band has matched Fleet Foxes' ambitious musical endeavor both in effort and outcome, leading me to the conclusion that the genre is so not stuck in 2009.
Native Oklahoman band Other Lives released their second album titled Tamer Animals about a month ago; The album hosts a bounty of instruments all laced together by Jesse Tabish's cooing vocals. Tracks feature sweeping gestures of the cello to bassoon ululations; violins, bass clarinets, and a number of other instruments add to their tasteful, though rich theatricality. "Every sound has a purpose," Tabish explains, "without being too indulgent."
The band's bio explains it best: "There’s no point in trying to unearth an obvious 'single' in Other Lives’ second album, Tamer Animals. Here’s a better idea instead: succumb."