Sometimes you see someone singing and they are just so, so very clearly in their element that they nearly vibrate an easy tidal wave of vocal power, inhabiting and swimming free inside the song. Galen Disston used to sing in an ambient folk band called Pickwick. One day, as the story goes, he was listening to a Sam Cooke record and decided that therein lay a new urgent direction. The next band practice, they tried something different.
I think we can all agree that holy hell did they make the right decision.
Blackout (a capella at UW) – Pickwick
Although this song was on my summer mix –something about soul and summer heat goes together in my mind– I noticed after I listened to it carefully a few times that it is a super dark song (possibly about the suicide of Ian Curtis?). Galen acknowledges the darkness of the lyrics, but adds, “all the songs are stories that have blown my mind, and I wanted the opportunity to live them in a small way when we sing the songs.” You can certainly see that indwelling here.
Pickwick left everyone speechless (and a broken stage in their wake) at the Doe Bay Fest, and they have a new maxi-EP out this month called Myths (a collection of their previous single releases, with some bonus tracks).
Pickwick is recording their full-length debut in December with tour plans to follow (including SXSW!). It will not be long before these guys (deservedly) explode brilliant and farther outside the Pacific Northwest music scene.
YOU need to go see them. YOU will be blown away.
[video directed by my amazing friend Tyler Kalberg]