Wednesday, September 20
The Brunettes are Jonathan Bree and Heather Mansfield. They are from New Zealand and played hobbits in the first and third Lord of the Rings movies. (One of the statements in that last sentence is false; I'm not telling you which.)
What does the Brunettes' music sound like? Well, take it from their website: "... Boy/girl melodrama pop inspired by '70s New York punk and '60s girl groups." Well... sounds good to me; count me in.
But wait... there's a twist. The Brunettes are creating their "melodrama pop" in Auckland, New Zealand, which apparently features a scene "of opiate-infused garage rock 'n' roll." Who knew? I mean, Amsterdam, sure, but AUCKLAND? Learn something new every day.
Elsewhere on the Brunettes' website, their music is described as "bubblegum." Yeah, maybe, a little. But if so, it's bubblegum that's already been chewed by somebody else - somebody with rotten teeth and breath like a stench. Maybe that's what I find so charming about these two. No matter how pristine and calculated the song arrangements are, there's something undeniably ragged about the execution. Like they've planned it that way. Like maybe they record their vocals after a long night of devil-be-damned carousing. Cigarettes. Booze. Opiates. Apparently, Auckland is home to all of these and more. Sounds good to me; book my flight.
It may well be that the Brunettes are on the verge of breaking through here in the States. Their next album is due to be released sometime before the end of the year, and they're looking to tour here in the spring of '07 (after previously touring the U.S. with the Shins and Rilo Kiley). One guesses that the Brunettes' MySpace page will eventually tell us the wheres, whens, and such like.
In the meantime, there are these...
From the LP Mars Loves Venus, 2004 >>>
[MP3] "Bestfriend Envy"
[MP3] "You Beautiful Militant"
From the LP Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks, 2002 >>>
[MP3] "Talk to Jesus"