Playlist pairs- quirky indie folk playing quirky indie folk.

A beautiful, restless track from Tigran Hamasyan’s new album Shadow Theatre, featuring the amazing Areni Agbabian on (wordless) vocals. Lots of references came to mind when I heard this, from the piano playing of Bojan Z to the circular routines of Penguin Cafe Orchestra. But in the overall effect of music and video it seems to me this track shares an affinity with The Ruby Suns’ Tane Mahuta- both draw heavily on folk influences, are based on waltz time, build to emotional climaxes, and are accompanied by endearingly off-beat collage-style black and white films.

9 thoughts on “Playlist pairs- quirky indie folk playing quirky indie folk.

  1. “Quirky indie folk” is guaranteed to pique my interest…

    Really liked Tigran Hamasyan – beautiful, dreamlike stuff. A new name to me, I’m going to investigate more now – the album is on Spotify.

    I think I’ve heard that Ruby Suns one before, though I’m not sure where – probably here. Liked that too, and they work well together.

    Different musical idiom (and video), but the waltz-time track that came to mind to follow these was this one:

  2. Didn’t get “waltz” from either, but time signatures have never been my forte (ineptitude is on record from when we examined them on RR). Tigran, is clearly accomplished, but didn’t do much from me. That Ruby Suns, however, is ace & seems to be 1 of 3 tunes that I have of theirs – where to start for more?

    • The rest of Sea Lion, though Tane Mahuta is for my tastes the stand-out track. From the follow-up Fight Softly Cranberry does something similar for my tastes… but I personally find the eclectic psych pop mix doesn’t come off that frequently. They’ve been promoting a new album Christopher on US radio shows and NPR, a live sample here. There’s also an eponymous debut album I haven’t heard any of.

      • the career of the Ruby Suns in saneshane idiot soundbites:

        The first track of the first album sounded like the Beach Boys – I lasted about 13 seconds.
        Sea Lion (2007) you know some of.
        Fight Softly (2010) album is a bit pop Panda Bear/ Animal Collective mixed with Junior Boys.
        Christopher (2013) is back to the Junior Boys… Robyn is the reference modern critics use…

  3. That 2007-2010 period is also roughly the time that squelchy pop genre- Panda Bear, etc- seemed to dominate the ‘Spill and RR, if I recall correctly… maybe because Blimpy seemed to be putting up two posts a day on here back then… that was before he became obsessed with women playing guitars, of course.

  4. I liked both, but Tigran Hamasyan was favourite. The video (not the music) put me in mind of peter Gabriel; can’t make any direct comparisons with the music but Penguin Cafe Orchestra is a good start.

  5. Now you mention it I do think there’s a certain Gabriel feel to the up-tempo passages, actually- something in the chords and the way the bassline develops. And besides his own videos Gabriel performed the closing song to Wall-E, which also made extensive use of the slapstick-in-space combination.
    The PCO track I was thinking of was Perpetuum Mobile, the violin/voice riff and the recurring piano line mainly.

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