Put Your Hands Up

by on Mar.21, 2010, under music

Music is a very important part of my life.  I listen to it in many aspects of my life and it is both a mood ring and a recovery tool for my emotional state.  Many of the most important moments of my life can be and have been set to music.  So it is incredulous that I don’t write more about it.  I aim to change that starting here.

I’m always seeking new music to listen to.  While my wife is also very musically oriented, she has not pursued it as fervently as I tend to recently, so it was a welcome surprise last week when she turned me on to a new artist.  Before last weekend, Pomplamoose was no more than the French word for grapefruit (albeit a somewhat phonetically spelled version of the word).  It started with her playing the video for this quirky cover of Beyoncé’s “All the Single Ladies”.  After only a few iterations of it and hearing a few other covers, I found myself spending some downtime at work the following Monday investigating some more of their music including their originals.  By the next day I had purchased and downloaded every track I could find from the band as well as some of the singer’s solo tracks.  And for the rest of the week I listened to little else.

Pomplamoose’s sound is very indie, with Nataly Dawn’s vocals being very earthy and reminiscent of Beth Orton, and Jack Conte’s arrangements being very eclectic (including elements such as toy xylophones, triangles, and facial percussion).  But there is also a solid sense of a polished product – while the videos present a sense that all of their songs are recorded in an apartment, the sound is well produced and complete (even in the seemingly purposefully included snafus and antics).

Their covers include some original instrumental interpretations that make the songs their own and their originals are solid arrangements on their own.  I love the coy message in “If You Think You Need Some Lovin“, the subtle metaphors in “Expiration Date” (I especially like the line “when did you start complimenting in past and future tense”).  And while it could be argued that their video style seems single-threaded, Nataly’s near constant half-smile and Jack’s unique instrumentation and video antics make them all very watchable.

That being said, I encourage you to watch them all.  If you like what you hear, I also encourage you to patronize them as well.  While I don’t necessarily support the nature of the RIAA machine, I do fully believe in supporting real musicians that are trying to make a living.  I hope you at least enjoy a listen – currently it seems that their cover of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” is at the top of the YouTube playlist, which I enjoy listening to more than anything actually by Lady Gaga herself.

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