I’m finally initiating a new feature on this blog that I’ve had in mind for a while. For lack of a better name, I’m calling it My Favorites. Whatever of the moment is striking my fancy and carrying me away—music, TV, web site, restaurant, snack food, whatever—I’ll make a point of sharing it on the blog. So, here’s my first installment of a rave on a fave.
Two months ago, I made a mad dash to find new music. Really new, as in never heard of the artist before “new.” I scoured the usual places, sifted through my own reminder lists of songs heard here and there, sampled them on Amazon, and made some purchases. All of them were winners but the album 3 Rounds and a Sound by Blind Pilot was (and still is) my favorite by far.
Prior to this, I’d never heard of them before and now I can’t imagine not having this album in my music library. It’s good to know that no matter how old I am, when I get a new album that I love, that for whatever reason strikes me as perfect and perfect for that time, I will listen to it over and over and over again, just like I did when I was 15. I’m sure I’m wearing a groove in my digital library where the Blind Pilot songs reside.
3 Rounds and a Sound, the debut from this duo out of Portland, Oregon, continues to be my go-to choice of music. It never fails to raise my spirits. I put it on frequently when I’m cooking and in no time I’m bouncing around the kitchen. Dangerous when knives are involved.
Blind Pilot is primarily acoustic guitar, drums and harmonizing vocals accented with trumpets, strings, banjo, and xylophone in orchestrations that are simple but layered. I loved their sound from the first but it was the songwriting, the unusual melodies and the lyrics that really hooked me.
There’s not a song on 3 Rounds that I don’t like but my particular favorites include, “Paint or Pollen,” “Go On Say It” “Poor Boy,” “The Story I Heard,” and “One Red Thread.” The latter two have terrific locomotive rhythms, songs made for road tripping, flying down the highway, singing at the top of your lungs.
The slow brushed drum rhythm on “The Bitter End” and the album’s title track get me head-bobbing and harmonizing every time. The latter tune, which wraps up the album, introduces two halves of the song and ends by perfectly blending them both together, one voice under the other.
Plus, these guys tour (when possible) by bicycle!