Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dabbles in Bloom - I'm Afraid of Jazz

I like to think that I enjoy a wide range of musical varieties. But when I'm honest, I have to admit that I don't like all kinds of music. Nu-metal and death-metal have never been my thing, for example. The kind of rap/dance/pop typified by Black-eyed Peas leaves me cold. But to really lay bare my shortcomings in well-roundedness, I have to admit I'm not a big fan of one whole genre - jazz.

That's not to say I don't appreciate, say, Miles Davis. I do, and I even own a couple of records. And there are many pop/rock acts exhibiting jazz influences that have hooked me over the years, from Steely Dan to latter day Talk Talk. But my ignorance and appreciation of jazz have largely remained the same for years and years.

So when I received a submission from Walla Walla's Dabbles in Bloom describing the band as a "young indie-pop band with jazz influences", I wasn't sure what to expect. I read the bio, which includes one band member who confesses:
"As do most typical college students, I enjoy absurd amounts of irony and repeating overly-used slang phrases that will cease to be popular long before I will cease to say them."

Okay, so at least there's some sense of humour there. Then I listened to the music. Most tracks on the new album Found It don't display overt jazz tendencies to me, maybe less so than Vampire Weekend's afro-pop tendencies. Some songs remind me of The Beautiful South with their male and female vocal interplay, but without the biting edge. Faint echoes of folk-rock (say, for example, mellow tones of Nick Drake) slip in now and again, such as in the beginning of Greetings.

There's a fair amount of sunny pop on this record, joyous singing and happy handclaps. Like on this one, Eclipse.

Eclipse by Dabbles In Bloom

I Stepped Down

I Stepped Down by Dabbles In Bloom

You can purchase Dabbles in Bloom on iTunes.

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