Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bishop Allen: Indie Rock's Most Prolific Band

Jonathan Migneault

Bishop Allen Rock

Sufjan Stevens is not the only indie artist to undertake an incremental musical project. The Brooklyn-based band Bishop Allen has decided to release an EP on the last day of every month of 2006. So far, the results have been remarkably consistent and, well, good. Admittedly, the endeavour isn't as ambitious as Sufjan's 50 States project. Nonetheless, by years end the band will have produced an output of roughly 48 quality songs. More importantly, you won’t have to wait several decades to hear the finished product.

Remarkably little has been written about Bishop Allen (I mean, outside YANP). The band was formed by Christian Rudder and Justin Rice in 2003. Shortly thereafter they released their first (and only) album, Charm School. Eventually, bassist Christian Owens and drummer Jack Delamitraux were added to the roster. The band kept relatively quiet the last few years but has really exploded onto the scene with its recent super-human output of great tunes. The EPs, available for $6 each, have been selling like hot cakes. The climax will surely be the release of their upcoming LP, Clementines, by year’s end (hopefully).

Further talk about Bishop Allen would be an exercise in futility without touching upon the music itself. If you happen to be the type of person who enjoys insanely catchy riffs, indie pop aesthetics and a touch emotional resonance then Bishop Allen is the musical messiah you’ve been waiting for. Okay, they’re not quite Christ-like in their levels of awesomeness but then again, who is? (Points to self).

As it so happens, the band just released its April EP. They've posted one song from each EP absolutely free of charge on their website. April’s track, Flight 180, is easily the best one yet. The song slowly builds to a beautiful violin crescendo that will induce goose bumps in even the most jaded listener.

It's hard to believe that the band has already completed one third of the project. One can only hope that the months of May through December will be as brilliant as the first four.

Bishop Allen - Flight 180
Bishop Allen - Things Are What You Make Of Them

Bishop Allen - April

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