October 20, 2008

Prabir And The Substitutes!!

This summer I listened to a hand-labeled CD marked “Prabir And The Substitutes” in simple Sharpie script at least a dozen times through from front to back in a single week. If you could see the avalanche of submissions awaiting my feeble attention, then you would see what a feat this is — for one little album to ensnare my attention so thoroughly on repeat and not let me up for air. It was the perfect soundtrack to a good chunk of my July, and rediscovering it at the first chill of October I realize that I never gave it the love I intended.

Prabir And The Substitutes are from Richmond, Virginia, and have been making –and self-releasing– music together since 2005. From the opening track about kissing below, the album explodes with bold and radiant sunshine harmonies. At first blush it feels simple, innocent, and very familiar, but soon they become a bit unwound as the album rolls along with the ragged edge and influences that modern day kids understand so well (I mean, we all know the punk, we all know the rock). Blunt lyrics of sexual frustration over kickin’ piano crescendos sound like Jerry Lee Lewis using the kind of language he probably always wanted to use (umm, with his… cousin?). A capella harmonies and handclaps abound, but with enough crunch and scream to balance out the sugar.

These are the first two songs on Five Little Pieces, a delightfully fresh and welcome collection of tunes. Paste Magazine named them Band of the Week this summer, around the same time I was undergoing my weeks of obsession.

The Kiss – Prabir & The Substitutes
Bad Days Are A-Comin’ – Prabir & The Substitutes

After touring with Dr. Dog, they play a hometown Halloween show in Richmond, Virginia and are on the road in the coming months. And although their MySpace lists an aspiring triumvirate of “Sony, Warner Brothers, AND Universal” as label, they are currently unsigned.

[top photo by Steve Cross]


  • Prabir is amazing and such a cool guy to talk to. He has the best mutton chops. I love how they’re getting so much attention now.

    Concrete Circles — October 21, 2008 @ 5:26 am

  • Loving these guys, fantastic sound. Thanks for the tracks.

    Agnes — October 21, 2008 @ 2:06 pm

  • Wow, uh, I know one of those guys. This is so weird.


    Anonymous — October 22, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  • YAY!

    Brandon — October 22, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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