» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Six Parts Seven
[Everywhere] [And Right Here]
Suicide Squeeze Records

Rating: 7/10 ?

February 14, 2000
The Six Parts Seven have placed themselves squarely in a sticky predicament. Their 2003 release, Lost Notes from Forgotten Songs, gave them greater notoriety than they had previously known. The CD was made interesting by its collaborations - while the Six Parts Seven provided backing instrumentals, vocals were added by many of indie rock's prize students. Ears were perked, as fans of everyone from Isaac Brock to the Young People picked it up on tangential exploration.

This is the last we'd heard, and now the Six Parts Seven must follow it up with more of what they actually do: namely, self-standing instrumentals. It is a difficult task; they must do it without sounding like they've taken a step back. They must be interesting without vocal accompaniment, even to those newer fans who only know them as a backing band.

The band seems oblivious to this dilemma, as [Everywhere] [And Right Here] plays like their previous project never happened. It is as unassuming and mild as any of their work, asking little more from its audience than comfortable laziness and an open ear. It is pleasantly content to play in the background, and as such finds a nice home behind the daily routine.

Fans of Rachel's, The Album Leaf and Mogwai will likely have a soft spot already reserved for the band, but will note that their music is far more shy and retiring than any of those outfits. In places, their work is ambient and in others, quite jazzy, though never obtrusive. Pretty and laid-back, it saves itself from tedium by being elaborate (in its own modest way).

"What You Love You Must Love Now" is beautiful like a quietly rumbling rainstorm. Its warm acoustics and gently played vibraphone sets a shimmering fluorescent light toward the gray day. The track is natural-feeling and hopeful, showing the band to be endearing right from the start. For those fans that have only prefaced their work by their vocal endeavor, the opener should serve to snag them in regardless.

"This One or That One?" is also fairly sweeping, pulling heartstrings closer in a lush three-four time signature, and cautiously balancing detailed guitar interplay over a lulling pace. One might not suspect there is a lot going on in such an unhurried, atmospheric instrumental, at least on the exterior - but as is proven on a track-by-track basis, a careful listen reveals much more. Thankfully, the Six Parts Seven don't seek to outsmart you with it, nor do they wish to overwhelm; they are simply allowing for a listener-driven experience.

Some tracks require more patience, but reward quite nicely. While not as immediately engrossing, they unfold quite beautifully in their own right. Vibraphone returns as a sweet and charming key on "Already Elsewhere," languidly chilled like the bridge of a Tortoise track. "Saving Words for Making Sense" is dark and introspective, slyly punning their own attempts and suggesting personal interpretation.

The ending "Nightsong" closes on yet another beautiful note, its sleepwalking demeanor softly patrolling the halls in the comfort of dreams. It is the lullaby that returns you to the stillness of your day, but at the same time feels much more gratifying than silence.

This might be their finest contribution: the Six Parts Seven, while never forcing themselves upon you, attach themselves to the everyday. As the disc ends, their presence is notably missing; in quiet, you long for their sound. With or without the voices of friends, it provides kind companionship, and in quiet moments, that is more than enough.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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