On their second full-length album, Chicago’s Maps & Atlases defy easy categorization, choosing to walk their own incomparable musical path. Beware and Be Grateful sees the band’s trademark experimentalism morphing to suit a more direct – though no less beguiling – songcraft. Fueled by a panoply of sonic influences, the album abounds with novel invention, spanning hymnal harmonies, percolating rhythms, even, in the case of centerpiece track, “Silver Self,” a full-on guitar solo (though to be fair, it’s unlike any solo previously committed to wax). Songs like “Remote And Dark Years” and “Fever” are gloriously liquid and lyrical, channeling Maps & Atlases’ tightly constructed creativity into a genuinely distinctive brand of boundary-busting, asymmetrical pop. Self-assured and astonishingly ambitious, Beware and Be Grateful is a worthy follow-up to the band‘s acclaimed Barsuk debut Perch Patchwork.
PRAISE FOR PERCH PATCHWORK:
“Maps & Atlases make technical virtuosity fun.” - Filter
“Beautifully oddball symphony... equal parts lo-fi and hi-tech.” - American Songwriter
“Behind humble vocals and verbal conundrums, [Maps & Atlases’] music might set up shifty progressive-rock counterpoint, hark back to late-1960s pop or turn into a percussion workout.” - John Pareles, New York Times
“Intricately intertwined fretwork and drumming... genre tags seem pretty inadequate.” - Spin
“A 12-track collection of wonderful variation, at some points it’s shoegaze-y and intricate, at others upbeat and sunny, and sometimes it’s just dripping with sardonic malice.” - Paste
Tour dates included in download folder or viewable here!
Stream the album courtesy of PASTE!
RIYL: The National, Yeasayer, Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend
TRY: #3, 2, 4, 5, 6
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