Maps & Atlases
/ Gypsyblood / Wolf Creek
Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 8:30 PM EDT
(7:30 PM Doors)
Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights, OH
Davison, Shiraz Dada (bass), Chris Hainey (drums), and Erin Elders (guitar) all met as students at Columbia College in Chicago. The band spent two years touring behind its two EPs—both of which were recorded by Dada. On both, Maps & Atlases honed a sound that combined the tightly wound technical proficiency of Don Caballero and Hella but with songwriting, arrangements, and harmonies that aimed for sky rather than gut. At times the music conjured metal, jazz, and 8-bit videogame soundtracks spinning blissfully wild-eyed and out of control—sometimes all at once. And, within this relatively short amount of time, a progression was clear. While the first EP was more frenetic, the second had more earthly songs that earned comparisons in the press to TV On The Radio, Deerhoof, CAN, and even Prince. “I don’t think we thought anyone was ever going to hear the first EP,” says Davison with a laugh. “I think that record was more purposely in your face. It was kind of wild and hyper. The second EP was incorporating those things into songs that have more soul… And a pop quality.” That pop quality eventually caught the attention of Barsuk Records. As a label known for its focus on songwriters rather than frenetic powerhouses like Maps & Atlases, it’s a move that signifies the leap forward Perch Patchwork represents for the band. “We all appreciate being affiliated with that,” says Davison. “Our songwriting process has really evolved. I get excited about really good guitar players, but for the most part I like sitting down and listening to a record of well-written songs most of all.” Perch Patchwork has no shortage of those. And, in a world cluttered with digital ephemera, an album that flows from beginning to end with such deliberate grace is all the more special… Not to mention a perfect soundtrack for the hissing of summer lawns.