Monday, May 07, 2007

Page France and the Family Telephone

Page France
...and the Family Telephone (Suicide Squeeze, 2007)
Grade: A

Download: Page France - "The Ruby Ringman"
Download: Page France - "Hat and Rabbit"

I caught Page France opening for Headlights at the 7th St. Entry last month and fell in love. There's nothing I enjoy more than good, smart pop songs, and the Family Telephone fits that description perfectly.

Michael Nau, at the age of 23, is something of a prodigy. His adorably reedy voice and heartfelt lyrics front the gentle accompaniment of twangy acoustic guitar, moving bass lines, a strong commitment to the floor tom, and a soft decor of bells, tamborine, and rhodes-ish synths when there isn't light piano.

Nau's lyrics have shifted away from the theological references we heard on Page France's first album Hello, Dear Wind (Fall Records, 2005), and moved to the subjects of family and love with the frequent use animal imagery. Throughout the record, Nau appears to be a poet at heart who just happened to stumble upon some great songs, some really great songs, creating a mess that is both endearing and disarming.

The band will not escape comparisons to Sufjan Stevens or to the Decemberists, but I actually like these guys quite a bit more. In fact, I will go as far as to say this record will make by Top 5 List (yes, 5, not 10) this year - it's that good.

Furthermore, Page France will be performing at the 7th St. Entry on June 30th.

Buy the record here.

MySpace Page

(Ian Anderson)

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