Fingertips Explores the Archives: Band of Horses - The Funeral
Jeremy from Fingertips joins us each month as he scours the betterPropaganda archives, highlighting gems buried a few years back in our database.
This week we bring you "The Funeral" from Band of Horses.
Band of Horses is a Seattle-based outfit with an early, firm grip on what has been, to my ears, one of the defining indie-rock sounds of the aughts--a sound I think of as Neil Young meets Radiohead (so, okay, we need a better name for this): a ghostly, left-of-mainstream blend of ache and atmosphere, part acoustic and part electric, featuring keen melodies and a slightly wobbly high-pitched tenor. Songs that start out too quietly usually make me antsy, but "The Funeral" redeems itself the minute vocalist Ben Bridwell opens his mouth, less for the quality of his voice (which I do like) than for the arresting melody--a melancholy line that descends with one half-step ascent before the end, a line in fact so melancholy it needs only one, final minor chord to create a suffusing minor-key aura. When the fuller band kicks in, crisply, at 1:23, supporting the same ongoing melody, the piece acquires a history-laced depth, like something from the Band's catalog (a feeling reinforced by the Rick Danko-like "oo-oos" falsetto-ing in the background). "The Funeral" came out initially in 2005, before the band had recorded its first full-length CD, and later appeared on that debut CD, Everything All the Time, released on Sub Pop Records in 2006.
- Jeremy Schlosberg