Vells, the / Flight From Echo Falls
Album: Flight From Echo Falls   Collection:General
Artist:Vells, the   Added:Oct 2004

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2004-10-25 Pull Date: 2004-12-27
Week Ending: Dec 19 Dec 5 Nov 28 Nov 21 Nov 14 Nov 7 Oct 31
Airplays: 2 1 1 1 2 1 2

Recent Airplay
1. May 04, 2007: Something about music
In the Hours of Flowers
4. Oct 03, 2006: What's in the Icebox?
Little Yellow Moon
2. Nov 28, 2006: What's in the Ice Box?
Hey Hey La La
5. Aug 19, 2006: What's in the Icebox?
In the Hours of Flowers
3. Nov 14, 2006: What's in the Ice Box?
Little Yellow Moon
6. Jun 02, 2006: The Lunchbox
In the Hours of Flowers

Album Review
Reviewed 2004-10-25
Fragile, lo-fi pop with Mersey and glam references. Wispy, androgynous vocals with heavy vibrato - somewhere between David Bowie and Kate Smith - over minimal, delicate pop arrangements. Lots of organ and oom-pah style bass guitar. A haunted house thick with the swirling ghosts of The Pastels (no, they’re not dead), along with the entire Geographic Records roster (not dead), Woodbine (not dead, either), and all these artists’ glam/psych influences (David Bowie, The Beatles, The Turtles, T-Rex, and on and on, some of whom are dead). The Vells are a collaboration project from Seattle fronted by Tristan McKay Marcum (ex Fire Child) and conceived by Jeremiah Green (Modest Mouse) and Darrin Wiener (Plastiq Phantom). The band includes or has included members of The Blessed Light, Stagger Lee, Modest Mouse, and Red Stars Theory. Songs are mid-tempo and tend to start quickly and end with drums, unless noted. No fluff - play it all. Or start with 1, 3, 7, 12. No FCCs, as far as I could tell.

==> 1. Bouncy & upbeat indie rock with the feel of an English village brass band (a feel often used by The Beatles) but lo-fi in an art-school way and drum-heavy. Ends with cymbal crash.
2. Upbeat, happy ‘60s psych/pop song. Vibrato almost reminiscent of Kate Smith, no shit. Ends with drum roll and cymbal crash
==> 3. Starts with tape noise, metronome, and count-off. Cheesy organ and telephone-like vox. Swaying indie-pop ballad.
4. Mid-slow, romantic ballad. More cheesy organ. I laughed, I cried, I felt good. Ends with organ fade.
5. Theramin and acoustic guitar and drums. Finely structured sing-along pop song. Fades.
6. Vocals that sound male some of the time, this time. Keyboard-based bridge sounds an awful lot like French band Mellow. Slows at end and then some telephone-like singing.
==> 7. Begins with drums. Vocals come in about 20 seconds in. Mersey/Byrds feel with electric guitar and harmonica. Slows and fades.
8. Slow, starts with solo guitar. Male-sounding vocals. Dramatic, nostalgic, minor-key ballad. Very distorted drums. Ends with 20 secs of organ and drums.
9. Starts with drum machine. Poignant folk rock fed through a glam/distortion machine. Starts sounding epic and ethereal toward end. Ends with vibrato guitar.
10. Way-slowed down early ‘80s new wave. Kate Smith fronting the Flying Lizards in a big block of lime Jello.
11. 3/4-time, lo-fi polka pop hit about nightmares. Fades.
==> 12. Bells and marching-drum snare give a Christmas feel to this short, lo-fi instrumental.
13. Lo-fi disco number with heavy bass and vibraphone - and Marcum’s signature vocals, of course. Fades.
14. Mid-slow, organ-heavy, noisy lullaby. Reminiscent of East River Pipe. Fades.
15. Mid-slow and quiet. Drums, piano, and bass, with a touch of guitar. The Vells’ music is so heavily stylized it’s hard to picture the 15th song on this album sounding fresh and unique after listening to all the others, but it does. OK. I have to admit that every time I’ve listened to this record I’ve liked it more. Maybe all the fawning critics are not exaggerating after all.

Track Listing
1. In the Hours of Flowers   8. Time the Deceiver
2. Hello Medecina   9. In My Paradise
3. Little Yellow Moon   10. Down Down Glory
4. Mansour 3   11. Nightmares
5. Larger than Life   12. Qwoylude
6. All in All   13. The Rhyme Sees Mine
7. Hey Hey La La   14. Baby's Gone Gone
  15. Flight From Echo Falls