With over two dozen playthroughs over the past couple weeks, my first album submission of the year puts me on a good note. Big Sir’s latest album, Before Gardens After Gardens, is their first LP in many a year. Comprised of the beautiful East Coast songstress Lisa Papineau (known for her work with Air and M83) and legendary Mars Volta bassist Juan Alderete, Big Sir is a staple of the Sargent House family.

Returning to this album is Juan’s signature high treble Fender bass sound that made me fall in love with Non-Stop Drummer from their self-titled album. Also returning is the lovely layering of Lisa’s voice throughout the album. It always made me wonder what would happen if she had backup singers in tow at the live show. But I digress, on to the favorites of the album.

The second track, Ready on the Line is catchy as all hell, with a high tempo drum machine and heavy voice layering. As one of the singles from the album, I’m sure Lisa will break out her next level dance moves at their upcoming Los Angles shows.

This album and tour is pulling great features in for the ride. The sixth track, The Kindest Hour, features RX Bandits front man Matthew Embree with echoing vocals. The bass and strings are almost much to be admired, and had me wonder if it was in fact stand-up bass in this track.

My favorite track is Be Brave Go On. With accordions, Juan’s hypnotizing bass line, and odd timing, it was a no brainer. The lyrics are very relevant to this particular moment in my life, so those are automatic points in the book. The breakdown toward the end of the song carries the powerful mantra “Be brave and thankful all the way on, all the way, all the brave go on”, coupled with sharp synth to close out the song.

Big Sir has the ability to demand attention, while also being ambient and warming the mind from behind the eyes. The album releases on February 7th, and the small Los Angles tour before their European tour starts soon, so check out the dates, and join us.

Last time, Matt Embree and Cedric Bixler-Zavala came through, and Chris Tsagakis is a for sure guest this time around, so who knows what may happen.

Until next time my friends,

~Flak