Cursive is one of indie rock’s most recognized bands since they formed in back in 1997. Their breakout album was 2003′s, The Ugly Organ, which landed them an opening spot on The Cure’s 2004 Curiosa Tour alongside Interpol, The Rapture, Mogwai, Scarling, and The Cooper Temple Clause.
Cursive is known for their introspective lyrics and broody musical arrangements that often feature lush strings and brass instruments. I recently spent some time listening to the band’s new album, Mama, I’m Swollen. Surprisingly, I liked it right away. Usually, it takes me a few listens on any album but this one clicked instantly. It’s perfect in the background as I’m working away on my computer all afternoon.
However, I felt a little depressed and like I needed a stiff drink after listening to What Have I Done. BUT this track is reminiscent of the Cursive that long time fans expect and love. It is one of the album’s strongest tracks with it’s crashing guitars and drums which are overlaid with painfully emotional vocals.
Speaking of which, Tim Kasher’s vocals on Let Me Up felt reminiscent of the band Ours with his high falsettos and deep lows. The song Donkeys starts with a somewhat creepy audio loop from a music box. Slowly, harmonica laden melodies develop with whispering lyrics about debauchery and difficult family relationships. Cursive successfully mixes technically complex guitars with thick rhythms and unexpected instruments such as flutes and strings throughout.
Caveman even has a country influence with it’s swingy drums and twangy guitars. I also enjoyed this song’s lyrics:
I want to live life duty free
Let my instincts take the lead
I want to take what I can get
Don’t want to choose don’t want to bet
I want down from this family tree
I don’t need no upward mobility
Cursive is currently on tour in support of their new album, Mama I’m Swollen, and will be playing in Pittsburgh Tuesday, May 5.
Philadelphia’s Man Man is the opening act. Man Man is known for their high energy shows that feature the band wearing war paint and all white outfits. The band also plays a wide assortment of unexpected instruments including a honky tonk piano. I had to post their newest video, Rabbit Habit because it is so fantastic and silly!