Thrushes; part of the passerine bird family. The songs of some species are considered to be among the most beautiful in the avian world. Baltimore’s Thrushes bring a similar beauty to the human world with Exposing Seas, their first full length in five years. Formed in 2005, the band’s previous efforts (2007’s Sun Come Undone and 2010’s Night Falls) garnered the kind of glowing praise most indie acts could only hope for. Now, with Seas and its swirling, reverb-drenched guitars and dreamy, yet plaintively delivered vocals, the album brings to mind a mix of the classic shoegaze era-gone-by, Hounds of Love Bush-isms and a splash of ’90s emo-progenitors Rainer Maria resulting in Thrushes most focused work to date.
Recorded and produced by J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Office of Future Plans) at Magpie Cage Studios (Baltimore, MD), Exposing Seas is set for a fall release on Florida’s New Granada Records.
We caught up with the band to discuss some beautiful albums from 2015. This is what they were digging on.
Rachel Harvey, bass
OF MONSTERS AND MEN, Beneath The Skin
I develop an immediate crush on any song with that much pulsing floor tom/rack tom action, combined with female vocals that are vulnerable, but with a definite edge.
Anna Conner, vocals, guitars
I first heard Shamir on NPR. I thought ‘who IS this kid?!’ His music is pretty sophisticated and every song on it is something you want to sing along to. I was excited to see him at the Ottobar (Baltimore) on November 14th. His performance was incredible.
WOLF ALICE, My Love is Cool
This band has a real cool mix of pop, grunge, and shoegaze sounds with totally dreamy female vocals. I have played this on repeat in my car for several days and not gotten sick of it.
RYAN ADAMS, 1989
OK, I already drink the Taylor Swift Kool-Aid. Squad goals aside, Ryan Adams covered her album in this super sincere and sweet way. He changed the genre of these songs and it’s an amazing result.
Scott Tiemann, drums
DAVE RAWLINGS MACHINE, Nashville Obsolete
I’m a huge fan of Gillian Welch. Many years ago I picked up her album called Soul Journey on a whim (from the cover art really) and fell in love. It was one of those rare connections that seemed deeper than just music to me, but rather directed the way I was, and am, trying to live my life: slowed down to nearly a crawl. Slow tempos, slow walking, slow eating, extending each moment to its most upper limit. I probably listened to the her song “I dream a highway” in its full twenty minute glory a thousand times. Rawlings, one half of her duo turns out that same type of contemplative slow time music, but with just a hint of humor that Welch lacks. Nashville Obsolete is the latest effort from them and I enjoy it more with each listen.
BELLE & SEBASTIAN, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
The first Belle and Sebastian record I heard was 1996’s If You’re Feeling Sinister, but truthfully I cant listen to it and not hear my earlier high school years playing through the speakers. It’s personal and wonderful and horrible and powerful. I was, at the time, a closeted high school student from south Texas and to hear songs that seemed to sing the magic and mystery of opening up to who you really might be inside knocked me out. It was the kind of record I wanted to talk to people about and then run back into my room and listen to under the covers. Ever since then, I’ve had a real soft spot for Belle and Sebastian. Now a happily married man, whose husband also loves B&S, they can do almost no wrong. This record has some definite jams and they sound fantastic live as always.