After finding out they won't be playing during one of the days I'll be at Sasquatch, I considered scrapping this album as my "AotW." It seems, however, that these guys are a bit unknown around this board, and since they are very near and dear to me I just couldn't let this band slide by some potential fans.
I can't remember how I first heard about Blind Pilot, but I know I've been attempting to see them since at least the summer of 2009. They were set to open for Andrew Bird and The Decemberists at Marymoor Park near Seattle, and I was all set to buy tickets to the show. I had heard their song "Paint or Pollen" (see figure 1) and quite enjoyed it, but for whatever reason I just didn't end up making it to that show. Three and a half years and a sophomore album later, they've become one of my favorite bands and I still have yet to see them live.
I'll be straight with you all. Blind Pilot isn't inventing the wheel here. If you listened to the previous song I posted then you already have an idea of the type of music they make. The best way I can describe them as is simply acoustic indie rock, I guess. No frills. No gimmicks. Just breezy, lovely, and often emotional acoustic songs with modest yet powerful lyrics and beautiful vocals. I chose "We Are the Tide" over their debut album, "3 Rounds and a Sound" because it is much more accessible and can be instantly gratifying upon one listen. I sat on "3 Rounds" for an entire year with only an occasional listen before it finally sunk in and started fully clicking with me, and since we are currently on a crash course for Sasquatch, I want to give you the quickest and best possible introduction to these guys. Instead of blabbing on and on about how I feel about them (and because I'm currently kind of drunk), I'm going to post a few more of my favorite tracks of theirs. This is music after all. Who gives a fuck what I have to say about them?? Just give these tunes a chance. There's nothing to absorb. Nothing to dissect. Just some simple songs with lovely melodies that will hopefully make you smile as much as they make me.
Ok! Since I'm recommending an album on the hopes of you catching them live, I couldn't possibly leave you without a live video! So let's start with one of my personal favorites from "We Are the Tide." It just so happens too be the title track, so lucky you! This is one of the most upbeat tracks they've written, and always puts me in a great mood when I hear it. If you don't like this, then you pretty much suck at enjoying enjoyable music.
(Silly Letterman, that's not their name!)
No real great description for this next song. It just warms my little Pea heart, and the chorus just melts me like butter. Another favorite off of the album.
Lastly, I'd like to leave you with another track off their first album. It's the final track, and also happens to be the title track. I'm the type of person who rarely is able to get through an entire album. For some reason I always find myself losing interest about 3/4 of the way through, and as a result I never even heard this song until I owned the album for damn near a year and a half. Once I finally heard it, however, I absolutely fell in love with it, and it has been a staple in my life ever since. Between needing a good song during hard times and simply needing something quiet and pleasant to listen to while falling asleep, this song has been there for me more times than I can count. It's sincere, understated, nurturing, and even a little heartbreaking. The last track on "We Are the Tide," called "New York," wraps up that album on a lot like this one does, and I highly recommend you listen to that track as well.
I particularly enjoy this in-studio version of "3 Rounds and a Sound":
I know upon first listen Blind Pilot might just sound like another run of the mill indie band, but I promise you there is something special about them, and I truly hope you find a little something you love about them as much as I do.
You rock Pea. I feel exactly the same way about them and I am sad that you have to miss them at Sasquatch. They do live in Portland though so I am sure you will see them in the near future.
They really are a band that have no super amazing gimmicks which makes it hard to promote them sometimes. Especially on this board with all the amazing bands that people recommend and talk so highly about. If they win you over they will do it based on sincerity and melody, which worked for me the first time I heard them.
Edit: It's funny because this is the same way I feel about Jack Johnson, haha. I wont ruin this moment with a Jack Johnson argument though.
I bet you all thought I was going to pick Said the Whale huh??? I was actually going to, but I have a feeling they're going to be playing at like 10 am so I probably won't even see them. It seemed silly to me to pick a band that I don't even plan on going to. I spent hours trying to pick an album and I finally found my answer on the Sasquatch official website. I was reading a book while I had the artists playing in order on the site when this song came on that instantly made me smile and put down my book to find out who it was. It was....
After looking up which song was playing, I bought the album with that song on it and got it playing immediately. I was intantly in love. I had always associated STRFKR with MSTRKFT and SBTRKT so I was expecting some kind of electronic music. It is a little electronic, but with yummy bass lines and sweet synth. It reminds me a lot of M83 and a little bit of Neon Indian or Crystal Castles. It's the kind of music that makes me dance in my car and that I can imagine being played in the Gorge. It puts me in the ultimate Sasquatch mood and I hope it does the same for all of you!
The song that was playing on the Sasquatch site is called Julius:
I play this a lot at work and I saw people dancing to it in the pool today. I love when that happens because I'm positive they have never heard it before but it still makes them want to dance.
I have a thing for songs that have a man speaking that sounds like an old radio broadcast (I think because of Our Lady Peace's Spiritual Machines). The song Mystery Clouds starts off sounding like Crystal Castles to me, but at 3:35 it turns in to this sweet melody with a man saying all these crazy things. It was the best driving around really stoned and thinking about all the stuff he says.
Astoria may be my favourite song right now with 5 lyrics. The layering of the bass guitar and the guitars is lovely and it makes me smile every time.
Ok I'm almost done. I just wanted to tell you all about the moment when I realized this was the band I wanted to talk about. I was driving around after work one night and listening to this album. I was thinking about the bass line in Hungry Ghost and how I could feel it tickle my brain in the most perfect way. The song was ending and the next song, Mona Vegas came on and I just had this moment where Starfucker seemed like the perfect name for them and I wanted to share this band with you guys.
Even if this band plays before Said the Whale I'll still do my best to see them. I watched a few live videos and it seems like my kind of shoulder shrugging dance party. I hope I'll see some of you there, and that you enjoy my pick!