A Maps & Atlases record has the same skeletal system as an LCD Soundsystem record. It begins with a fairly simplistic foundation, like a lonesome electric guitar. Slowly, they add layer after layer, until finally, the spectrum of sound is enormous and varied. There are odd harmonies, disjointed beats, rollicking bass, and an overall wooded feel.
Of course, Maps & Atlases and LCD Soundsystem have almost nothing in common. Maps, a Chicago band, is an excellent band that deserves all the accolades they’ve received. They’re currently on tour with Ra Ra Riot, and I’d imagine that the dreamy Appalachian sounding guitars match well with RRR’s romantic violin.
Maps & Atlases – “You & Me & the Mountain” (from the You And Me And The Mountain EP)
Maps & Atlases will be at The Canopy Club in Champaign this Friday with The Antlers, Ganglians, and Wavves as part of the Pygmalion Festival. Here’s their list, courtesy of Erin Elders.
1) The Nerves – “Give Me Some Time” (from One Way Ticket) – “I didn’t find out about The Nerves until recently. A friend gave me a copy of their EP and I immediately became obsessed with it. It is infectiously catchy. I think all four songs on it are amazing but this is my favorite of the moment. Jack Lee is an amazing songwriter. The Nerves knew how to masterfully craft pop songs.”
2) So Many Dynamos – “Glaciers” (from The Loud Wars) – “We are on tour with these fine gentlemen at the moment and my favorite moment of each night is when they kick into this song. It’s an incredibly powerful song and live its like a sonic club to the head. These guys are rippers.” (Ed. note: They aren’t currently on tour with So Many Dynamos. We were late posting the list. Our apologies.)
3) Bill Callahan – “Sycamore” (from Woke On A Whaleheart) – “I saw Bill Callahan play in a church at SXSW a few years ago. Joanna Newsom accompanied him, playing piano and the show was breathtaking. Since then, I have become obsessed with everything this man does. He is an amazing songwriter. This song is on his first record not under the Smog moniker (or at least I think, I could be wrong though). The whole album is amazing, but I think this one is my jam.”
4) St. Vincent – “Now Now” (from Marry Me) – “I know that St. Vincent has a new record that just came out that I’m sure is incredible. And as soon as I get the chance to pick it up, I will. This song is the opening track on her last record and when I first heard it, I listened to it like 10 times a day. Annie Clark seems to be one incredibly talented lady. Her voice is amazing and she is a shredder on guitar.”
5) Wild Beasts – “Devil’s Crayon” (from Limbo, Panto) – “We toured with these guys in the UK and they are awesome! Truly one of the most unique bands out there right now. These guys put on one of the best live shows I have seen in a very very long time. Not to mention the fact that they are four of the sweetest individuals I have ever met. I listen to this song once a day.”