In the future, we'll all have jetpacks and listen to Robert Harrison
In the mid-90s, Cotton Mather (named after an especially foxy-looking Puritan minister) made a splash with some of the most divinely-arranged power pop I've ever heard. For example:
My Before and After - Cotton Mather (from Kontiki)
Heaven's Helping - Cotton Mather (from the 40 Watt Solution EP)
Yeah, it's that good -- the 1:11 mark in Heaven's Helping is one of my absolute favorite moments in any song ever. It borders on celestially sublime; sixteen seconds of downright musical perfection.
I discovered Harrison's work only after Cotton Mather broke up, and now their albums are often solely the purview of lucky record store cratediggers and used-on-Amazon buyers. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when Austin-based frontman Robert Harrison came back to musical life last year with a cinematic new band, Future Clouds and Radar. The sound is evolving into something a bit more psychedelic and sweeping, but that Lennonesque voice obviously remains the same.
After 2007's self-titled double disc, Future Clouds and Radar is back with their sophomore effort, Peoria. The opening track has a rosy glow that builds and shimmers, as it sings about "an Epcot view of the stars."
The Epcot View - Future Clouds and Radar
Peoria will be out on election day in the U.S. on their own Star Apple Kingdom label, and there are a few rare tour dates on the books.
Also, a flabbergasted thanks (!!) to one of my favorite writers/fellow music lover Nick Hornby for the Fuel/Friends mention today on the New York Times site. He must have known that I have Songbook on my nightstand right now, not even lying.