Monday, March 19, 2007

New Music Monday - Maps & Atlases

I love the idea of the South By Southwest Music Conference. A gathering of new bands fighting for exposure, credibility and the elusive record contract, mixed with the sage advice and precious club sized gigs of industry veterans. Like Sundance, press coverage at SXSW could break the 'next big thing' in the rock/indie world. Someday I'll find a way to attend and soak it all in. In the meantime, I'm limited to the reviews and numerous blogs that chronicled the proceedings. In my last 'New Music Monday' post two weeks ago I focused on Canada's The Besnard Lakes, who apparently made quite a splash at SXSW. So I'll work in reverse this time and explore a new band that played at the conference. From Chicago come Maps & Atlases, a progressive rock influenced band with an uptempo, complex sound. The songs I've heard are dominated by an edgy, experimental guitar sound reminiscent of Adrian Belew and Robert Fripp. And there's certainly a feeling of the more complex Yes music coursing throughout, although the vocals are edgier, nothing like the angelic Jon Anderson. It will be interesting if this band catches on with this type of sound, but who doesn't like a bit of prog-rock now and then, eh? Their current record is a self-released EP called Trees, Swallows, Houses.

Sample some of their music here

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