Sunday, February 24, 2008

we saw: Atlas Sound

Ethereal and atmospheric ambient shoegaze

The slowly spinning disco ball hanging above the stage at Johnny Brenda's in Philly on Friday night was the perfect fit for the lo-fi, ambient pop-rock of Atlas Sound. Much like the music, the reflected blue light created a methodical, entrancing, and slightly disorienting psychedelic vibe that made the room feel as if it were floating in space.

Atlas Sound is a strange mix of heavily looped and processed guitar and keyboards, densely layered on top of simple song structures. The slow-motion rhythms that shape the tunes are sparse, leaving plenty of room for the distorted soundscapes to flesh out the rest, while providing the perfect complement to singer Bradford Cox's introspective and repetitive lyrics.

Despite having to play the show with borrowed gear (a busted van transmission left their equipment stranded in Baltimore), the band seemed relaxed and jovial, performing a large chunk of their fantastic debut album in between extended episodes of ridiculous stage banter, which included a graphic retelling of Bradford's disastrous first encounter with the Philly breakfast staple, scrapple. Somehow, it all came together as a coherent whole and made sense when bathed in the otherworldly disco lights hanging from above.

Download a live track below and then head over to the band's MySpace to stream their new album. Atlas Sound plays tonight at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Atlas Sound- Recent Bedroom [recorded live on Feb 16 in Athens, GA]
Atlas Sound MySpace

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