Friday, November 20, 2009

Celluloid Bachelor #5: Danielson's Moment Soakers

On the list of things to ridicule, very few things are as unanimously mocked as Christian rock. Yet everyone also seems to have their own guilty pleasure Christian artist they like listening too. For example, my friend Leia is nuts about Page France, while plenty of people got a thing for the Dave Eggers of rock and roll, Sufjan Stevens.

Me? My choice is Daniel Smith, best known as the genius behind Danielson (or, depending on the album, Brother Danielson or Danielson Famile). I absolutely love his work, especially the monumental Ships. If you are looking for a nice intro, indie label extraordinaire Secretly Canadian released a solid retrospective last year titled Trying Hartz.

Recently, Danielson released a new 7", Moment Soakers, which continues the line of great music put out by Daniel Smith and company while also using the band's cult status (how ironic for a Christian band to enjoy cult status, right?) to do some good in the world. A portion of all proceeds from sales of the release will be going straight to the Weathervane Music Organization, a newly formed non-profit headed by the band's go-to sound engineer (Brian McTear), that "represents a profound commitment to the idea that at all stages of the process, community must be part and parcel of what it is to make and share music, from recording to presentation, from funding and resource allocation to promotion and arts advocacy."

Sounds good to me! What's more, the song sounds even better. The track is more deliberate and restained than what long-time listeners are used to (though still wilder and more creative than most of what you'll hear this year), and is quite compelling in moments of complexity as well in the quiet parts where Smith takes his famously squeaky wheel falsetto to new and interesting places. The animated film that complements the song is charming and wholesome, though not without intensity. For the simplistic sequences and story, there are harrowing points, including a barely escaped attack from shark-like fireplace bellows. Sound strange? I guess it probably should. You'll have to check out the video below to peep what I mean.

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