"Gold and Warm" - Bad Veins
Propulsive and canny, "Gold and Warm" sneaks a huge, sing-along chorus into a multifaceted piece that sounds very little like standard-issue indie-rock-duo music in an age in which the duo has become oddly commonplace.
The dreamy, retro-y orchestral intro is an immediate clue that the song may not unfold as expected. While "Gold and Warm" drives with a determined beat, it also opens itself at various points to more delicate touches, and although singer-songwriter-guitarist-keyboardist Benjamin Davis pushes his voice through something of a Strokes-like filter, he doesn't use that as an excuse to sing monotonously, which is something this particular effect typically encourages. The rich-toned Davis shows me a thing or two about the emotional range that's still possible for a filtered voice, while partner Sebastien Schultz gives the duo the gift of a human drummer, grounding the band's sound in something nuanced and organic, often putting his cymbal work more forward than the drumming in the mix. And then listen to him work the drum kit in the instrumental break that accompanies the instrumental interlude three-quarters of the way into the song (2:46)--that's just some good, old-fashioned drumming the likes of which you might have heard from Ringo way back when: patient, spacious, self-effacing, and effective precisely because it doesn't try to be intricate or show-off-y.
"Gold and Warm" is the second track on the Cincinnati-based band's self-titled debut, released last month on Dangerbird Records. MP3 via Spinner.