Review Summary: With this release, Bishop Allen never leaves you bored; always entertaining your musical needs with their lyrical depth and emotionally charged, fun, songs.
New York’s indie-rock scene contains a plethora of solid bands to choose from. Some of them more mainstream such as Brand New, and the National, and others not so much, such as Grizzly Bear and PaperDoll. Bishop Allen falls under the latter group, not being as well known as some other indie bands. With a discography of twelve EPs, and one full-length album, all praised in the New York indie scene, widespread recognition should have been prevalent. Not until the release of the single “Middle Management” off of the popular film “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist”, however, did the name Bishop Allen really escape the clutches of NYC.
“The Broken String” really showcases the talents and originality of Bishop Allen. With a barrage of instruments ranging from the Banjo to the Ukulele, and from the standard acoustic to an Oboe, they really keep things fresh throughout the whole album. The album opens up with “The Monitor”, a very good dynamic song that showcases front man Justin Rice’s lyrical and vocal ability. The next song is one of the best on the album, and it’s called “Rain”. This song has the first instance of many vocal harmonization melodies between Justin and his wife Darbie (who plays keys and other various instruments). These harmony parts are highlights throughout the whole album, and especially in “Rain”.
The next few tracks flow perfectly together, forming a seamless blend of indie pop that takes you off into distant places, drawing you in to the wonderfully simple and haunting melodies. The album takes a break with the song “Butterfly Nets”, showing off Darbie Nowatka’s vocal abilities in this simple, but beautiful arrangement of Ukulele and Xylophone. A few tracks later you hit the lead single of the album, “Middle Management”. It’s the perfect song off the album as a single, being up-tempo and blending a lot of the previous used elements into the song. The album ends on a perfect note, taking everything that sounded well before and putting it together into “The News For Your Bed”, a sad song lyrically that is masked by cheery guitar and bass work.
When you finally hit the end of track twelve, and the music stops, and an eerie silence floats about your room, you’ll start thinking about the album. You’ll remember the catchy hooks, the wonderful melodies and vocals, and you’ll reach out and hit the play button again.
Click, Click, Click, Click
The News From Your Bed