Saturday, March 22, 2008

Eux Autres - Cold City

It's funny what happens when you listen to a record a couple times through, put it down for a bit, then pop it back in again. I'm listening to Cold City by Eux Autres ("ooz-oh-tra") and wondering what it's reminding me of. Suddenly I realize that the tune I'm humming, frantically searching my brain for who it's by, is by Eux Autres. It's just later on the record. I haven't gotten there yet.

[MP3] Eux Autres -"Anne Boleyn"

That bodes well for this Portland brother and sister. Being premature does me no favors when listening to them. As poppy and, *cringe*, ordinary as these two sound on first pass, by the second time through, fantastic characteristics come out of the woodworks. It feels like the ooze in Fern Gully (was it called Hexxus?) looks, if that gives you any idea. It just seeps through your consciousness, and you realize suddenly that it's fantastic. Because it is.

Getting through Eux Autres' sophomore full-length for maybe the fourth time, I'm completely smitten. I'll be a jerk for a second and quote the press release that accompanied the album (because it says what I want to say better than I can say it): "Eux Autres write compact songs with sparse instrumentation. Their music has been unfairly described as 'fun.' But while the surface of the songs might seem nonchalant, the lyrics offer skewered observations and fierce barbs. Most of their songs are about a) military history b) being 'done wrong' or c) sports." Too true.

If there's a danger for the duo on this particular record, it's that occasionally the songs resemble each other a little too closely. They're not breaking all that much ground, here, but what they do they do very very well. There's no shame in that, and it's the sunniest thing I've heard in a very long time, while still being extremely intelligent. While there's a place in all our hearts for a good brooding record, every once in a while we need one that's a pick-me-up as well. Cold City is an antidepressant for the ears if ever I heard one.

Eux Autres released their debut 7" in 2003 and their first LP, Hell Is Eux Autres in 2004. They re-released the LP in 2006 on Montreal's Grenadine Records. Cold City released in December on Athens' Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records.

Here's the extremely charming video for "Anne Boleyn" from Cold City (A puppet playing french horn!):

You can also download the album's single, "When I'm Up" (which is an adorable song), form


Adam said...

I super dig it,

but I'm a total francophile.

Even if they're from Portland.

Miss hangin out. You should come out to Limoseen on Thurs. Some weird Homestar Runner thing my friend wants me to come to.

Matt made a cool post at the blog.

He's a really good writer.

I actually made a literary effort on the Die Die Die one as well.

Has this comment jumped the shark?

Juliar said...

I miss hangin' out too!

Wait, do you mean Limozeen!? Thursday? Because that would be pretty freakin sweet. You let me know. I loves the H.R.

Yeah, I've been reading lately and y'all's quality has skyrocketed (not that it wasn't good before, but the last few have been above and beyond). Really fantstic stuff.

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I'm a total francophile.This is very dangerous!