Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The Motifs: Matches (2007)
Japan does things to people. The first thing I remembered while listening to Matches was my own times spent traveling through the beautifully surreal landscape that is Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and more. Then I thought that this album could be a summation of music Scarlett Johansson’s character Charlotte would make after her experiences in Lost In Translation (my favorite film). What Alexis Hall of The Motifs has in common with Ms. Johansson and I, is that she also spent some time in Japan and it clearly shows on Matches. Keyboards wash through your ears and acoustic guitar strums echoes for miles. Bits of handclaps, harmonies, and xylophone-like instruments add flourishes and resound quite cleanly and dream-like. “Your’s And Mine” is sung with hushed vocals and its not that the words don’t matter, the harmonies speak for themselves and quite beautifully I must say. I bit of finger picking in the background brings out a nice dynamic that echoes that strange nature of being surrounded by stark, but absorbing skyscrapers. The track “Matches” is atmospheric and terrific. Again an acoustic guitar holds the beat steady while the keyboard here is amazingly intricate yet sparse; it’s used in all the right places. “This Side” is so clear it sparks quite a jolt to the system compared to the rest of the album. It isn’t to say that it doesn’t fit, au contraire my friend, it is the perfect closer. It’s a realization and a reflection on the entire journey. It’s semi-cathartic, but down to earth and dreamier than anything. The Motif’s Matches displays an amazing ability to capture a moment, a fleeting time in a different world where chaos and beauty coexist quite harmoniously.
The Motifs-"This Side"
The Motifs on myspace
Buy the record on Wee Pop! Records