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Unpopular Songs for Unpopular People - Longboat
Buy Unpopular Songs for Unpopular People

RELEASE INFO

LABEL: Self-released
RELEASE DATE: 05.21.2013
FORMATS: Physical, Digital

Band Members

Igor Keller:

BIOGRAPHY

I characterize the band like this: it's eclectic pop music for people who dislike eclectic pop music from a band that hates being labeled eclectic pop. That last sentence is way too clunky to be a tagline, but it does sum up a lot. The subjects are off-kilter, the genres are erratic, but it's all very accessible. I guess the impetus for this lies in what I'm trying to avoid. Most of pop music's workhorses - love/lust/jealousy/loneliness/dancing - are mostly cast aside in favor of tunes that tell a story or explore one predicament or another. I try like hell to make each song a complete thought. That generally means it has a beginning, a middle and an end.

Publicity Blurb

"Longboat’s Igor Keller is, of course, a genius." - East Portland Blog

Beguiling, quirky with aspirations for more mainstream consumption, the varied sonic palette of Igor Keller and his solo project Longboat draws on an array of genres and conjures numerous adjectives. Just don't call it "eclectic." In fact, he'd prefer that you refer to it as un-pop. As Keller states in his bio, "I characterize the band like this: it's eclectic pop music for people who dislike eclectic pop music and all of its annoying preciousness - from a band that hates being labeled eclectic pop. I'm hoping to carve out a new genre based on the album's title: un-pop. And God willing, it will someday replace the hated term 'eclectic pop'."

So, what is this un-pop anyway? Well, Unpopular Songs For Unpopular People may be just that: an amalgamation of the best of outsider pop influences, channeled through Keller's own idiosyncratic worldview and experiences. One can hear the strains of Jonathan Richman in Keller's cool, detached vocal delivery, while the blip/glitch pop aesthetic recalls the quirky catchiness of They Might Be Giants. Produced, arranged and written exclusively by Keller, his third official album under the Longboat moniker is essentially an intriguing journey through his psyche. According to Keller, his songs' subjects run the gamut from "disastrous revolutions to drinking with smart people to regicide to miraculous scientific hardware to rabid girlfriends to life and death. You know, the usual."

The musical arrangements of Unpopular Songs clearly stem from Keller's training as a tenor sax man. There's a hard bop cool that runs throughout the album, and Keller's vocals and unique storytelling are delivered in scat staccato, reminiscent of a jazz-house poetry session.

Unpopular Songs For Unpopular People, available now, follows on the heels of 2011's Greater Seattle and Instant Classics from 2012.

Review

July 5th 2013. Posted by J E Downey for Earbuddy Reviews

" Well, at least they are upfront about their aspirations."

Longboat’s latest album, Unpopular Songs for Unpopular People, purports to be an exercise in subverting indie-pop tropes, which is the sort of thing that I can usually get behind if done right. I’d say that the subversions don’t hit the mark, but after experiencing Unpopular’s boorishly-messy sixty-three minutes, complete with keyboards that could have been done better by Ray Manzarek’s corpse and a lead singer whose boorish voice and detached demeanor bring to mind Marcy Playground, I’m not sure what mark Longboat was trying to hit. To hear these guys tell it, the world sucks, everything in it sucks, and everything that could be good about it will suck in due time. Aren’t those common music tropes? The wittiest song here, “Last Words”, is a collection of the last recorded words of noteworthy people, most of which are darkly comedic given the expressed optimism, set over too-cheery music. For many artists, this would be deemed a good start. For Longboat, “Last Words” is a good place to end.



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