This is a block party in the same way that the Chosen Few Picnic is a picnic.
Mekons have endured by refusing to adhere to anyone’s ideas regarding what is and isn’t punk rock (which is in and of itself a defiantly punk attitude).
Heart Bones, the teaming of Har Mar Superstar and Sabrina Ellis, sparks the kind of pure pop exhilaration that recalls classic duos like Ashford & Simpson and Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra.
The album is a dazzlingly rich lode of tonal and especially textual delights; I’d call it a master class in songwriting, except I’ve listened to it a few times through and still can’t tell how he’s pulled off some of the effects he has here. Inspiration and invention can’t be taught.
Garber’s voice is a gorgeous thing—managing to deliver both the resonance of a viol and the brightness of a trumpet—and her phrasing could persuade you that these timeworn lyrics are actually occurring to her spontaneously as she speaks them.
The band’s sound has expanded a bit since its earliest days; one hears more hints of psychedelia in more recent outings like 2018’s “Evil Spirit.”
With her exuberant self-empowerment single “Juice,” the irrepressible singer-rapper-flautist has positioned herself as one of 2019’s defining voices.
The unique tuning used by CGT—intervals of fifths, like a violin—gives a unique sonority to the instrument as well. Against that backdrop, the trio sounds like no one else as it digs into both original compositions and interpretations of others’ works.
“Twin Hemispheres” is neither the best composition on the band’s new album nor the right choice for the single (which it was), but I’ll be damned if they didn’t position it perfectly as a statement of intent, as if to say, “We are still Pilot Cloud and we’re picking up precisely where we left off. “
My favorite of the album’s original tunes may be “Oceans of Notions,” where Avery clearly enjoys himself, chattering and clicking and rattling at Miller’s breezy guitar theme; he’s like a terrier running between Miller’s legs as he ambles along.