Monday, March 01, 2010

Album Review: A Weather - Everyday Balloons

Since their first record, Cove, was about as quiet as can be, A Weather had only one way to go on their follow-up: louder. Everyday Balloons is more dynamic and makes use of all five members of the band.

A Weather's rhythm section, once relegated to only keeping the beat and announcing chord changes, has a much more prominent role. They drive the dynamics louder, play off the vocals, and are even given the occasional counter-melody. Enough restraint is shown that when the band does rise above mezzo forte or introduce an intricate line, it stands out. While their role is increased, the rhythm section is once again not the attraction.

The interaction between lead singers Aaron Gerber and Sarah Winchester is the focus of this record. As a duo, they're as good as any; their voices curl around each other like smoke trails from blown out candles. Unlike the instruments behind them, they barely rise above a whisper.

This record is filled with great little swells – the one at the end of “Happiness” is my favorite – and some quirky lyrics that shouldn't work but do, like in “Midday Moon.” “You once were a dish sponge/ now you clean tile/ in the bathroom/ where sponges go to die.”

Everyday Balloons is a subtle record. It reveals itself more and more on multiple listens and requires some patience. Fans of Iron & Wine and The Swell Season will probably be more willing to give it the time it needs.

Everyday Balloons will be released on March 2 via Team Love Records.

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