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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Walk On Water, Now Walk On Fire

The word timeless is another one of those lazy rock-lit favorites, one that is not only overused but, frequently, misused. Is it supposed to describe a song out of time or one that will stand the test of time? It's a good thing I'm on a personal quest to lay to rest all those words, only to resurrect them and use them correctly. Today's word is timeless, and luckily there's a band from Columbus, Ohio making music that fits both meanings of the word.

The Whiles have been said to sound like Gram Parsons (wait a minute!), Nick Drake (I can hear it), Belle and Sebastian (I guess), The Pernice Brothers (I wouldn't know) and The Smiths (what!?!). Nevermind that, The Whiles sound like The Whiles, and that's plenty different than anything else that came out last year and plenty good enough to still be worth listening to in 20 years time. You see, timeless.

Not every song, mind you; like every band they have their share of great, good and not-so-good moments. But if their next album can capitalize on their debut's strengths, they'll be well on their way to becoming as great as they ought to be. Observe said strengths:

The Whiles - "Ghost On The Hill"

If you're only going to download one of these songs, this better be it! I feel bad uploading this song when The Whiles and their label have already generously made several songs available online, but this is their best song and it's the song that inspired the whole timeless discussion. Honestly, would you be able to say when this was recorded if I hadn't already told you? I didn't think so. The only word for Joe Peppercorn's voice is beautiful, the lyrics are astonishingly good and, frankly, no one else is coming up with melodies like this these days. It is my sincerest prayer that The Whiles can come up with more songs like this on their sophomore album.

Here are a few more songs from Colors Of The Year:

The Whiles - "Lonely River"

The Whiles - "Lonesome Reply"

The Whiles - "Will You"

The Whiles - "Emily"

I really hope somebody reading this likes these songs (don't forget to let me know), and I hope that if you do you'll support The Whiles by purchasing their album from Anyway Records. I mean, they've been "in debt since 1991", and a label putting out music this good simply doesn't deserve such a fate.

You can learn more about The Whiles by visiting their website or reading this one-sheet. Or both, if you're feeling really adventurous.

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