One of my favourite indie bands is British Sea Power, so I wholeheartedly shouted “Yes” when they asked me Do You Like Rock Music?
And now, kind of suprisingly, they’ve composed a soundtrack to the 1934 documentary Man Of Aran, by Robert Flaherty, showing the harsh life at those Irish islands (off the west coast). So not only did I want to get their CD, but also have a look at this movie. And what an impressive experience it turned out to be.
The power of the sea, its overwhelming might, through this black on white eye. No hiding here (we’re all in this together). All to get the boat on shore. Get wet now, will you. We definitely should fix that hole. Look for sand in the crevices. Spread it on the sea weed. Grow potatoes. Lessons for youngsters: how to catch a crab so you can catch a fish. But leave the shark hunt to the grown ups. We need oil for lamps.
And what a fine craft is shown. Camera positions, framing, the imagery and its editing, the stills, the shadows, capturing the enormous splashes.
I was highly impressed by both the movie and the (new) soundtrack. Both are so powerful and completely take you onto the rocks and the sea of Aran. These are the kind of surprises you love BSP for. Feel the shivers when you hear how the theme from the song True Adventures (from Open Season) gently comes back again in… It Comes Back Again.
Let’s call them Irish Sea Power (for now).
1/ After long and hard consideration, the jury put Coldplay with Prospekt’s March on top of 2008’s releases. It is considered an unprecedented example of post-completion to an already genuinely great work, Viva La Vida (or Death and all His Friends).
The jury particularly appreciates the massive consistency. Personally I also love the guys for using the ghost title of the pre-release Viva.
2/ Not to be forgotten, to say the least, are:
- Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts. Genius re-emerges beyond words
- Brett Anderson – Wilderness. Former glam star contemplates (still)
- The Verve – Forth. Grinding comeback with beatle-esque dignity
3/ The jury got used to the high performance level of Usual Suspects:
- Kaiser Chiefs – Off With Their Heads.
4/ Unofficial commenting of the jury:
- Eva De Roovere – Over & weer. Bevestiging van -levende- belofte
- CPeX – Verzameld. Schitterende wederkomst onder de zon
- Alanis Morissette – Flavors of Entanglement. Expanded scapes
If it’s of the indie kind of rock music that British Sea Power produces, I certainly do. Got to know this band at the time of their second album, Open Season (2005). Only realised after I got their first as well, The Decline of BSP (2003), that Open Season is pretty gentle, meaning that their debut greatly reflects their wild performances in their incredible dynamics (kind of Pixies-like). And now there’s their third piece of work, called Do you like rock music. Get it, and start waving flags with me for the definite rise of British Sea Power.
Another recent purchase was White Chalk by vocal godess PJ Harvey. Listen and get overwhelmed, without minding the lack of roaring or wheeping guitars. At first I was a bit fascinated by some vocal similarities I sensed with Miranda Sex Garden (whose wonderful mrs. Blake later on formed the Medieaval Babes). But now it is just a distinct and great late nite listening experience, a true master piece.