Oh Holy Fools
Author: Tim Den
Most indie scensters've heard of Bright Eyes by now. Their lo-fi bedroom singer/songwriter ballads subtly deliver tales of the darker side of the human experience. But Oh Holy Fools: The Music Of is more than another Bright Eyes recording, it's the debut of an equally moving, folky pop ensemble called Son, Ambulance. You can hear everything from Paul Simon to early Elton John in this new group (led by one-time Bright Eyes drummer Joe Knapp who writes all the songs, sings 'em, and plays the piano), and the pure sweetness of it almost steals the spotlight from Bright Eyes on this split. Unlike Bright Eyes, whose traumatized frailty sometimes goes overboard with the vocalist's Adam Duritz/singer-from-Soul Asylum singing style, Son, Ambulance stays within the boundaries of hit and run: 1) Establish catchy as hell piano/guitar riff, 2) scorch 'em with that steady low tenor voice, 3) repeat a few times, and 4) tah-dah! Done. Great formula with great results, never sacrificing tenderness or the down-to-earth element of the music.
Whether you're getting this for the established artist or the newcomer I've just hyped, Oh Holy Fools: The Music Of won't let you down. Whoever said lo-fi indie rock couldn't be melodious, musically knowledgeable, and as soothing as James Taylor? Here are two bands that prove it.