Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Still Lost Bird Music - Sargent Egyptian Girl

Rating: B+

Still Lost Bird Music is the solo pop vehicle for Simon Fink, a classically trained composer.  One would think the music would reflect that classical training, but Sargent Egyptian Girl, his debut album, is more steeped in American rock and pop than Italian arias and German symphonies: the opening finger-picked guitar riff evokes The Replacements' "Unsatisfied"; the guitar solo in "The Dream of Falling" suggests Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues"; the various "la"s and "bop"s pay homage to pop music from Phil Spector to the Counting Crows.  But the album that this ultimately makes me think of is Wilco's SummerteethSummerteeth is almost a lost gem, a pop masterpiece nestled between the alt-country of Being There and A.M. and the experimental genius of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and subsequent albums.  Like Summerteeth, Sargent Egyptian Girl carries both of those influences - "Chocolate Heart" is permeated by fiddle riffs, while "French Lessons" is drenched in effects and synths.  And like Summerteeth, Sargent Egyptian Girl is peopled with perfectly-crafted tunes, with the lyrics, melody, production and deliverable working together.

"Take This Town" is my favorite track on the album, a gorgeous stark tune keyed by gentle acoustic guitar and lyrics that paint a portrait of loneliness and disenchantment.  Another strong track is bubblegum closer "Wet Paint," which features triple entendre lyrics.  "It's about painting a room."  "Wait, it's a metaphor!"  "Wait ... I think it's about painting a room after all."  It's clever and catchy.  The album shows diversity, stretching from the fuzzed out post-relationship recriminations of the title track to the quirky funk of "Coin Star" to the psychedelic melancholy of "Water Border."  It's a strong collection of tunes, and Fink is skilled at several instruments and capturing the essence of the songs in the studio.

Still Lost Bird Music's second album, August, is coming out in about a month.  If Sargent Egyptian Girl is any indication, it will be one to look forward to.

Still Lost Bird Music official site


simonbfink said...

Hey! FYI I'll be posting some previews from the new album over the next few weeks here: http://theteleharmonium.blogspot.com/

davearchie said...

Awesome! I see the first track is up; I'll check it out.