Sounds Like: Midlake, or a folky Built to Spill
Why You Should Care: The Canadian trio’s brand of bluegrass-infused alt-rock keeps getting better
Hamilton, Ontario’s Dark Mean released their stellar self-titled debut in June of 2011, garnered a fair amount of attention and press in their home country, then, by their own admission, promptly went into a “state of hibernation.” It shouldn’t have been a surprise; their extremely laid back attitude matched their sound (and their simple song titles which never break the two-word mark.) “Samuel the Phoenix,” the first single from a new EP of the same name, therefore grabs attention for its three-word title alone.
But it’s also a great song. Singer Mark Dean (get it?), along with band members Billy Holmes and Sandy Johnston weave an intricate, reverb-heavy almost non-melody around a shuffling drum track, and their signature harmonies are as welcome as a warm sweater. While certainly a melancholy tune, it matches Dark Mean’s work in that it grabs your ear and won’t let go.