The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
Ambassadors with Lights 7 p.m. Tuesday Cain’s Ballroom 423 N. Main, Tulsa cainsballroom.com 918-584-2306
Violin sighs give
way to a harmonious chorus on “(O Death),” the funniest, shortest song on
Ambassadors’ debut album, Litost. The
ironically titled tune is so purposely not serious as to toss a
lyrical red herring into the middle of a meditation on the afterlife:
“O death, show me your teeth / For I’m trained in the art of
Ambassadors’ comedy comes neither unintentionally nor without careful
“It’s important to have a
good sense of humor about everything that happens to you,” said front man Sam
Harris. “I wrote that after everyone was on their way to recovery.”
Blind since birth, his brother
Casey was working as a piano tuner when the Harrises committed to the band
full-time in 2010 with friends Noah Feldshuh, guitarist, and Adam Levin,
another of Casey Harris’ lifelong medical conditions necessitated a
kidney transplant. Their mother, a cabaret and jazz singer, was the donor.
“We’re glad it turned out
well,” Sam Harris said. “It’s hard for me to write songs about things that
happen right then and there. It takes me two or three years to write about
something, and write about it well.”
Having safely escaped
into the medical clear, Ambassadors now are focused on touring — with a
Tuesday stop at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa — to support their impressive
debut disc.Litost pounds
airy, cooing vocals; R&B beats; and pop string arrangements
into a tribal, indie-rock mash that begs comparison to Givers and Local
Natives, but Ambassadors’ ears are more attuned to alt-rock.
“The minute we feel like
we’re starting to box ourselves in or turn into something that’s definable, we
immediately try to veer away,” Harris said, explaining the polarity of
influences. “That’s when we get into danger zone.”
Their love of disparate
genres is evident by the impressive range of covers available for free download
on Ambassadors’ blog:Nicki Minaj’s “Save Me,” Ginuwine’s “Pony,”
LCD Soundsystem’s “Someone Great,” The Strokes’ “Is This It,” Björk’s
“Hyperballad” — the list goes on.
“People love that shit,”
Harris said. “We never want to do anything too straightforward.”