Shields Down- Powdered Sugar Avalanche


Powdered Sugar Avalanche combines the Everything But the Kitchen Sink Brian Eno brand of pop music with the whirled sonics of My Bloody Valentine and the instrumentation of Magnetic Fields. It's ultimately a group of pop songs, but sounds a bit like Alan Lomax engineered a group of pop musicians that Brian Eno arranged and Kevin Shields produced. It's all over the place, in a nice way, i think.

The 'band' consists of brothers Ben and Leif Fairfield, who both make their own cds, and Lisa Chuang. Ben Fairfield tends to make poppy songs in the vein of Jack Johnson or Elliot Smith while Leif prefers the overall sound and feeling of songs, more akin to Brian Eno or Andrew Bird.

The songs here are shrouded in imagery and feel a bit like reading a book on a remote ocean shoreline. It has a song in Thai, a Chinese boys choir, and lyrics about Japanese history. It's familiar-enough as a pop cd, but even at its most intimate, it still feels pretty far off and abstract.

"Any Kind of Day" feels a bit like Sarah McLachlan-meets-Cush and "SwanDive" nearly sounds like Jeremy Enigk with a looser backing band. I have always appreciated bands that rotate lead singers, and i especially like the three part harmonies.

* If you ever get a chance to pick up a physical copy, it's printed letterpress! Woo ha!

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Another musician, interested in and inspired by music from different times, different cultures, and different intentions.