Joup’s Friday Album: Olivia Tremor Control – Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume 1

oliviatremorcontrolblackfoliageTrying to cram as much music into my brain as i can muster over this week, so I’m just going to have to eek this one out as quickly as possible.  In 1998 I had brief, but pretty awesome stint as a deejay at a college radio station, KVRX 91.7 at UT Austin.  Among the hordes and scores of bands, artists, and music that I was exposed to during that time, one of my very favorites was Olivia Tremor Control, a group of kids from Louisiana (which happens to be where I’m from) who were a part of the famed Elephant 6 collective, a large group of bands including Neutral Milk Hotel and The Apples in Stereo and many, many others.  All of the bands involved pull from various influences, most notably 1960’s pop, psych, and folk.  In so many ways Elephant 6 just took what The Beatles started 50 years ago and ran with it.

And it was beautiful magic.

Out of all the persons involved, Olivia Tremor Control’s Bill Doss and Will Cullen Hart embodied the stranger, more experimental sides and textures of psychedelic pop rock, and it shows in full force on their second proper album Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume 1.  Mixed throughout the pop rock, folk jams, and psych explorations lie strange sounds, ambient noises, and field recordings giving the whole project a very earthy and organic feel.  It’s both an easy pop listen and a difficult art music discovery.  And it’s beautiful from start to finish.

This album has always stuck with me, from the cramped and cluttered radio station at the ungodly hour of 5am, to road trips across the state of Texas with friends, to the soundtrack to writing articles for Joup.  I love it.  It defines a particular moment in my life but forever evolves with me to stay close to my heart and my ears.

I was fortunate enough to see the band in 2011 during their reunion tour, but sadly Bill Doss passed away in 2012.  But he left us with some really inventive and amazing music.  So take a listen to the headphone sound collage that is Black Foliage below.  And enjoy your Friday.

Mr. Baker, you are it.

 

Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

One Response to Joup’s Friday Album: Olivia Tremor Control – Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume 1
  1. Shawn C. Baker Reply

    “It defines a particular moment in my life but forever evolves with me to stay close to my heart and my ears.” – Wow. Well said sir.

    I’ve actually never really heard this band before. I’d been peripherally aware of them for quite some time when I downloaded a few tracks back in the napster days but nothing that ever stuck to me. It has been suggested to me previously that I had done myself a great disservice by trying to listen to disparate tracks instead of an album. I will be strapping on the headphones and rocketing off to inner space with this tomorrow for a fresh experience.

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