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Team B

The previous two years have been extremely busy for Kelly Pratt. Between touring with The Arcade Fire and Beirut and recording with Coldplay, Nina Persson, Final Fantasy, The Macabees, Bishop Allen, Herman Dune, and many others, there shouldn't be time to breathe, much less write songs. This busy sideman lifestyle, however, is the driving force behind Pratt's new project, Team B. While on tour in 2007-2008 with Arcade Fire and Beirut, he realized that downtime should be spent doing something more productive than keg stands. Armed with his laptop and the myriad instruments present on stage, h ...read more

The previous two years have been extremely busy for Kelly Pratt. Between touring with The Arcade Fire and Beirut and recording with Coldplay, Nina Persson, Final Fantasy, The Macabees, Bishop Allen, Herman Dune, and many others, there shouldn't be time to breathe, much less write songs. This busy sideman lifestyle, however, is the driving force behind Pratt's new project, Team B. While on tour in 2007-2008 with Arcade Fire and Beirut, he realized that downtime should be spent doing something more productive than keg stands. Armed with his laptop and the myriad instruments present on stage, he snuck off by himself to work on a series of new songs that reflect his wide tastes in music. Written in hotel rooms in the middle of the night, crammed backstage dressing rooms, and noisy airports, these songs are the Team B debut album. In his weeks off tour, the songs were tweaked, partially re-recorded, and perfected in his apartment and various studios around Brooklyn. Drummer Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem), bassist Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), and Jon Natchez and Perrin Cloutier (Beirut) all provide invaluable contributions to the album. However, the lion's share of the music (vocals, guitars, horns, keyboards) is performed by the multi-instrumentalist leader. The strength of Team B's debut lies primarily in Pratt's diverse songwriting. The lounge-pop opener "On My Mind" features a roaring, distorted trumpet solo and Mahoney's impressive drumming. The driving guitars and organ of "No Purchase Necessary" evoke Weezer and Ween more than Arcade Fire, and the Zappa-esque doo-wop closer "Salad Days" is an ironic salute to people feeling nostalgic for the free-for-all Reagan days. The quieter moments of the album include the meditative piano-driven "Empty Hallways" and the minimal electronica of "Misma." Realizing the importance of a great live show, Pratt's impressive band consists of members of Beirut, Jealous Girlfriends, and Stars Like Fleas. Their first-ever show sold out, due in no small part to mentions on Pitchfork, BrooklynVegan, Stereogum, and other respected music blogs. The reviews were positive, and there are plans for both US and European tours for 2009. While Team B may have begun as a side-project in the strictest sense of the term, the songwriting and musicianship of the debut and the talent of the live band prove that they are definitely one to watch in 2009. « hide

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