A complete and nutritious breakfast

There something very bohemian about Language-Arts‘ fusion of folk, hip-hop and jazz, and the Vancouver quartet would probably sound more at home playing in a vegetarian restaurant than a club. I’m not such a fan of the group’s half-spoken pseudo-rap, but there’s no denying “White Socks in Birkenstocks” from the tour-only EP Small Run. The song begins with classical guitar plucking and a deep, droning cello, soon swelling to accommodate keyboards, bass, and surprisingly hard-hitting drums. The hooks come quick and often, from the squeaky falsetto chorus to the layered, wordless harmonies of the breakdown. It’s perfect baroque pop, balancing immediate catchiness with texture and atmosphere.

mp3: “White Socks in Birkenstocks”

Language-Arts is offering several free downloads from its website, including three of the four songs from Small Run. “White Socks in Birkenstocks” will reappear on the upcoming full-length Where Were You in the Wild?, due out sometime in 2009.
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