by Dan Bolles
OK, before we get down to business, I'm just gonna get this out of the way. Did anyone catch the sheer glory that was last night's Celts-Bulls playoff game? Even the most casual fan/non-fan would have been gripped by the last five minutes (which is pretty much all I could catch 'cuz I was buried in the office until about 9pm or so). Ray "Jesus Shuttlesworth" Allen, you are my hero. If there is a better time to be a sports fan than late April, I can't think of it. Moving on . . .
As I was lurking 'round the office last night waiting for the first music section proofs to come down the pipeline, I happened to stumble across what might just be my favorite new(ish) band — for this week, anyway. At the very least, they're the perfect duo for a gloomy, early spring afternoon.
Human Highway is a collaboration between ex-Unicorns front man Nick Thorburn (currently of Montreal pop darlings Islands) and Toronto songwriter Jim Guthrie (occasionally of Montreal pop darlings Islands). And before you ask, the answer is yes. He's Woody's grandson. (Editor's Note: Actually, I'm not 100% sure on that. I can only find one source to corroborate that Guthrie is, in fact a GUTHRIE. For now, let's just say that he is . . . -DB)
If you were to peruse the interwebs looking for reviews of their debut, Moody Motorcycle, you'll find the band the band described roughly as such: breezy So-Cal bedroom pop with Everly-esque harmonies. My take: yes . . . well, no.
Simply put, invoking the brothers Everly is not to be done lightly. While Human Highway does trade in swooning, often plainly pretty harmonies, there is a ragged quality to their performance that is distinctly, well, non-Everly. And that's not a bad thing. The album's lo-fi sleepiness is undoubtedly part of its charm, and a big reason why I haven't stopped playing it since blowing some eMusic coin on it last night — save for the last five minutes of the Celts game, of course.
Anyway, here's a cool video of the the album's first track, "The Sound." (Note, this isn't the song's official vid, but I actually like it quite a bit more)