noyoucmon's current selection is:
Hard Rain
by Shout Out Louds
In 2010 I kept stumbling across Swedish coed combo Shout Out Louds' third album, Work. I didn't know anything about the group but had seen their records in the past and this one kept coming up, and I don't recall if I listened to snippets online or just bought it outright when a used copy surfaced in my neighborhood shop. I liked the album considerably, but wasn't compelled to examine the band further. At SXSW 2013 I went to see them play at upstairs Austin club The Parish; the show was remarkably good, so much so that I went to see them again a night or two later, this time at a creekside outdoor grotto attached to a bar I can't remember. From then I bought new Shout Out Louds albums as they were released--Optica in 2013 and Ease My Mind in 2017--though each one, for me, was diminishing returns compared to Work but even more so compared to that transcendent show at the Parish. I went to see them in my own town when they toured Ease My Mind in November of 2017, and at the gig I already felt like I could stop following this band, but at the merchandise table I decided to go backward and bought their 2007 sophomore album Our Ill Wills.

It's only been this month that I've gotten to it in my stack, and once again while I think it's good my experience with the band has peaked and I've been ready to move on. The last time I played it before filing, though, I was drawn in by the album's closing song, Hard Rain. This 7-minute number is a tremendous swirl of propulsive rhythm, bridges that give sonic relief without derailing the forward movement, a tension-breaking second lead vocal by guest Lykke Li offering female-voiced counterpoint to Adam Olenius's main vocal, and a percussion element that lends an irresistible flourish--is it cowbell? Wood block?--as the song builds to a symphonic crescendo, cools down, and threatens to repeat. I cannot get enough of this song. It's a pity, then, that I can't find a single posting online that captures its incredible sonics. The version I've posted comes closest, but even then that percussive flair eventually gets buried and by the time the crescendo is reached everything just sounds like static. Hearing the actual album on even just a decent set of headphones makes it clear what an accomplishment this is not only of songwriting but even more so arranging and mixing. Hopefully something comes across in translation here via YouTube and computer speakers. And, being reminded that Shout Out Louds are capable of things like this, I may not be able to give up on the band after all.
2007 - Bud Fox (Sweden)/Merge (US)
Posted: 28th June 2019
noyoucmon—one day I'll update it
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All noyoucmon's selections:
18 Oct 2019
11 - 18 Oct 2019
07 - 11 Oct 2019
04 - 07 Oct 2019