Land of the Low People
Seattle’s Corespondents have been quietly redefining western swing music for ten years now, updating the lively dance music with strange twists and turns influenced by gypsy jazz and math rock, unique eastern instrumentation relying heavily on the Vietnamese dan-bao and the Greek bouzouki – all topped off with classic psychedelic surf guitar swells. The foursome’s latest release, Land of the Low People, is a sprawling epic of an album, capable of conjuring images as varied in mood as an exploration of the shady corners from the underworld of a faraway land to a traditional Russian wedding.
The 15 songs on Land of the Low People are all instrumentals but the sheer musicianship and unrestrained experimentation keep the album interesting and exceptionally listenable. Standout tracks include the catchy Bollywood-tinged “Ballad of Frank and Useful,” the spooky dan-bao led “Face Cancellation,” and the country throwback closing song “Warbler.”
Every album the Corespondents have released projects an evolving mission and theme – each focuses on some sonic mood and rolls with it until the inevitable climax; no two albums sound alike though each one pushes the boundaries of genre and proves that there are still unexplored pathways in rock music.