I love things from Oklahoma! The Flaming Lips and, well, um, well, – I guess I should say there are two bands from Oklahoma that I really like. One being the Flaming Lips, the other being Other Lives. Their latest release Tamer Animals is a great follow-up to the mellow sing-alongs that were included on the first self-titled record that dropped back in 2009. Plus they always look really, really serious in their promo photos. I find the more serious a band looks in promo pics, the better they sound on record.
Tamer Animals sounds like a mix between Midlake, Beach House, 90’s Radiohead and Bon Iver. Lots of textures and the entire record is thick with instrumentation, vocal harmonies, and subtle percussion. The band is acoustically driven, with plenty of acoustic guitars, pianos, cellos, and violins. The stand-out track for me is the smash single “For 12” which sounds kind of like a ghost horse galloping in a David Lynch movie. The other great number is called “Woodwind” where, if I am not mistaken, they bust out with a bassoon. Nothing is more rock and roll than a bassoon! Another reason I love these guys, is they are pushing forward with the long-haired-guys-that-don’t-play-metal look that was brought back by Fleet Foxes. In my opinion, this is one instance where fashion and music really belong together.
I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more from these Oklahomans. They were opening up for Radiohead for the first leg of their 2012 tour. A pretty big stage for a bunch of Okie’s from Muskogee. I suggest sitting down with a cup of tea and taking in Tamer Animals. It pairs well with Earl Grey and summer rain.