Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cast Spells - Bright Works And Baton

Dave Davis of Chicago math rock stalwarts Maps And Atlases moves towards a more pop oriented sound with his side project Cast Spells album Bright Works And Batons. Maps had made a slight turn towards a more recognizable pop sound on their great album You Me And The Mountains. They had moved away from the jazzier elements of the album before, Trees, Swallows, Houses.

With Bright Works and Batons, Dave has created a vehicle to showcase his wry lyrical wit. His nasal delivery, which is a staple to many mid-western vocalists, ambles at times and races along at others. The music on this album might be best described as the Soundtrack music to a Wes Anderson movie. The melodies here are killer and are equal to the high bar set by the interesting lyrics and off kilter delivery.

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The album opener "Glamorous Glowing", would sound at home in a Wes Anderson film. The track features toy piano, rolling tom-tom drums and hand claps. "There are songs that have been sung by the largest loudest lungs you'll find them all in the glamorous glowing... and you don't have to sing the last song, but we'll all just play along, and hum with bright works and baton you'll find them all in the glamorous growing" go the lyrics utilizing clever word play.

'While conversating with flowers we spoke up far too loud and got swept beneath the mower blades of the paralyzed old plow, I know it's not your fault, but it doesn't make no sense to put all your living relatives close to your deceased clan', Dave offers on "War Story Hellos". This could have a dual meaning as many of the lyrics on this album.

There is an emphasis on telling stories on Bright Works and Baton. With his off kilter pop sensibilities, Dave Davis delivers an album that is worth quite a few repeat listens. I look forward to seeing him perform these pop gems live soon.

You can purchase Cast Spells two ep's at their bandcamp page.


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