Sunday, December 25, 2011

Song Of The Week: 12/25/11

Song: "Oh Comely"

Artist: Brand New

Album: Unreleased Live Cover

Year: 2008

"Oh Comely" is a song that was orignially performed by 1990's indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel and released on their 1998 album, "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea". Neutral Milk Hotel's frontman and chief songwriter Jeff Mangum is very much known for writing extremely vague lyrics in many of his songs and "Oh Comely" is no different. Many have said the song has some connection to Anne Frank as Mangum did have an apparent deep fascination with her story. Long Island, New York band Brand New has covered "Oh Comely" several times, both at their own shows and when Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey has performed solo. The version of the song I chose as my song of the week was performed by Brand New in February of 2008 in Perth, Australia. Brand New formed as a band back in 2000. With their first album, 2001's "Your Favorite Weapon", Brand New seemed to be on a path of that of a pop punk band. However, with each album thereafter, Brand New's sound would evolve to feature a more experimental or indie feel. Suprisingly, the changes in musical style actually helped Brand New achieve more success. In a time when bands get crushed for evolving their sound or branching out into new territory, Brand New was actually praised for it and it showed. Their third album, 2006's very dark "The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me" would feature the band's highest charting single, "Jesus Christ". Also, their most recent studio release, 2009's "Daisy" would go on to be the band's highest charted album. It's not often in today's music world that a band is offered the freedom to explore their style and sound and not be forced to put out the same old same old that made them successful. When recording "Daisy", Brand New frontman said he felt the album felt like the ending of something or a closure of sorts. He wondered if the band had run it's course or if he was content that Brand New had said everything he wanted it to say as a band. Luckily for fans of the band, Lacey and bandmates confirmed that the band was not breaking up. Currently, Brand New have been focused on performing on the road as of late. They also re-released their first album, "Your Favorite Weapon" which featured some unreleased demos. The band is also considering whether to release full albums in the future or just release music digitally a few songs at a time. After fulfilling their record contract, Brand New has total freedom to make these decisions as they see fit.

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