Even if your tastes match really well, the hit rate for a friend’s ‘hey, check out this band/ mp3’ is never particularly good; it may be ‘yeah, that’s pretty good.’ And the ‘holy crap, this is incredible!’ hits are even rarer.
When my friend introduced me to P:ano via a Salon article, the latter was certainly my reaction. Out of Vancouver, BC, P:ano was two bedroom recordists, Nick Krgovich and Larissa Loyva, playing all manner of instruments to make up a delicate, beautifully orchestrated chamber pop sound.
“All of November, Most of October” was the song that my friend introduced me to. From the ringing sounds and bells at the beginning, one doesn’t immediately know what to make of it, but once the lilting fingerpicked guitar and voice come in, I, at least, was pretty sold. The beautiful cello and violin later in the song just heighten the experience.
For a second song to highlight, I didn’t know what pick. They’re all so good. There’s the sprawling, seven and a half minute “Billions and Billions” that almost approaches post-rock. There’s the slowly developing rainy-summer-night-in-a-song of “Be Flat”. There’s the simple and great piano+drums of “Tut Tut” that oddly but brilliantly borrows from Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back”.
But in the end, I wanted to pick the song that made me thing of posting about this band: “C’est Hi”. Glacially slow, it feels like sitting in a rocking chair and chatting with a friend while cars rush past in the distance. You feel like it could be faster, but you don’t really car–I like this speed.
P:ano – All of November, Most of October (mp3)
P:ano – C’est Hi (mp3)
I’ve listened to P:ano’s subsequent releases and while there’s some good stuff on them, none of them approach the consistent and brilliant debut. When It’s Dark And It’s Summer is available from Amazon.
 This was written, incidentally, by someone who later was a fellow DJ at KZSU. Small world.