Pittsburgh locals, Signal to the Ocean Estate, have released their debut album, Tunes for the Bird of Chittenden. I am shocked at how good this album is. Really. I don’t know why I’m so shocked that it’s good, Pittsburgh has a really awesome local music scene.
Perhaps, it’s just been too many years since I’ve been directly in it. Years and years ago, if you needed to find me, you would look at the nearest all ages local show. What the hell else is there to do when you’re under 21 and in the suburbs?
I am ashamed! Ashamed I tell you! Why did I not know about all these awesome bands currently rocking out in Pittsburgh, including Signal to the Ocean Estate?! I seriously got this album yesterday afternoon and have not stopped listening to it since. It has this indie/experimental yet familiar vibe to it. As per the band’s Myspace, their influences include Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, Radiohead, The Beatles, Cake, Nine Inch Nails, and a ton of other seemingly unrelated people. That’s what makes Signal so great. Not a single song on this album sounds the same.
Also, I can’t believe the rich sound that they have on this album for technically being a three piece. (And for those of you who know me, you know my penchant for three pieces!) Like the track, “Tribute to the Capital”, a politically driven doo-wop revival. By the end, it’s just a cacophony of friends and family and sounds like a silly good time to me. If you don’t find yourself at least smiling to this song, you don’t have a pulse. This is my favorite album on this song because they just sound like they’re having so much fun making it, and isn’t that supposed to be what it’s all about? I’ll admit it, I danced to this song in my kitchen last night while doing dishes…what?
Other super awesome tracks on this album include, “Ghost Town”, an obvious hit with a parasite of a chorus. Once it’s in your brain, you’re fucked. I love the vocals on this one as well. They kind of remind me of Brand New, in the Your Favorite Weapon days (the best ones!). Also, check out the video for this one at the bottom of the page. Fucking rad, right? Incredibly well made and creepily awesome.
“In Heaven” has a sultry Nick Cave/early Marilyn Manson quality to it. The only qualms I have about this album, and I’m not sure if it’s the singer or the productions, is the low volume of the vocals. These guys can sing and they should do it loud and proud, dammit. But maybe that’s just me.
And then…there’s “Hope”. What is that? Is that a fucking ukulele I hear? I fucking love ukuleles! (Don’t worry, this isn’t the only song with it, either). Also, some sweet female backing vocals. I’m game.
“The Ocean” was definitely not one of my favorite tracks when I first heard this album, but it’s quickly growing on me. You can see the Radiohead influence in this song. It’s like when you’re tripping…this is what colors sound like. Kind of like all of Ruby Vroom from Soul Coughing.
The album ends with “Wings”, a spectacular male/female duet, hauntingly sweet. Another thing about the album is how well it’s assembled. I don’t think there’s any better way for the tracks to be positioned on this album. It has a swell and ebb better than I’ve heard in a long time. From people who are signed with big record deals.
All in all, these guys are really fucking awesome. It’s great to see such talent pumping out of Pittsburgh (again). Definitely check them out! They have a show coming up at The Brillobox tomorrow night with The Slant and The Central Plains. Support the Pittsburgh local music scene! A!