Brian Miller (who is the Lightning Bug Situation) sent me the debut album, A Leaf, a Stream shortly afterwards. I’ve been listening to it for a few weeks and enjoying it.
If there is a “typical San Francisco” sound, I don’t think this is it. An album about both the birth of his daughter and the Iraq War, it’s based around mostly fingerpicked guitar or piano and reverbed vocals. It also has processed drums and audio recordings of family and friends talking about a variety of topics, including domestic abuse and oppressive fathers, sprinkled throughout. It’s these sobering recordings that give one the most-immediate sense that this is not your average album of light-hearted indie loves songs.
“Message to Myself After Franny was Born” was the immediate standout track for me. It’s a gorgeous piano song with a gorgeous chorus and a really beautiful set of slide guitar parts.
“the New Dad” has fingerpicked guitar and supplemental piano building the groundwork for a melancholy vocal and the three together form a really pretty song. The quick sound bite of a baby here and there serves to remind one what the song is about and that it’s thoroughly grounded in reality.
If you’re in the Bay Area, you can check out the A Leaf; a Stream CD release show this Saturday:
12/8 the Lightning Bug Situation, The Antiques and The Vision of a Dying World @ Amensia, 9pm, $8, 21+
[Note: not totally sure on that price, but it seems to be somewhere around there.]
Amensia, if you don’t know it (I didn’t), is in the Mission on Valencia between 19th and 20th.
You can buy the album at CD Baby if you’re not able to get to that show.