Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Let's Go Sailing--The Chaos in Order (2007)
Artist-Let's Go Sailing
Album-The Chaos in Order
Release Date-Mar 27, 2007
Biography-The quietly magnificent L.A. indie pop band Let's Go Sailing formed in 2002 and released their sweet but world-weary debut, The Chaos in Order, in April 2007. The years between weren't spent holed up in a studio perfecting subtle songs: singer/songwriter Shana Levy, together with guitarist Brent Turner, bassist Nikki Monninger, cellist Tanya Haden, and drummer Byron Reynolds, steadily played a wide range of California venues, and even raves — during one performance, Courtney Love took the stage and joined in for a song. And the Flaming Lips became such devoted fans they played Let's Go Sailing demos as between-set music during shows.
Let's Go Sailing's lilting, thoughtful aesthetic is derived in part from Levy's musical training — as a child, she studied classical piano. When she left for college, easy access to a piano disappeared so, inspired by Elliott Smith, she took to songwriting as a creative outlet. Her gift for putting quirky but relatable thoughts to paper never left her, but after college she returned to keyboards — acts from Rilo Kiley to Dios Malos enlisted her, and she also joined the indie band Irving. The call to perform her own songs never left her, though. When she enlisted Haden, Monninger, Turner, and Reynolds to help her piece together her growing stack of bittersweet compositions, Let's Go Sailing were born. The band's name speaks to Levy's affinity for the bittersweet: "When I was a kid we had a sailboat. My brother and I would drag these little plastic boats along in the water next to our boat and pretend there were little people in them," she said. "My dad put a bumper sticker on his Ford Elite that said, 'Let's go sailing.' A few years later there was a hurricane and we had to leave our house. When we came home, the back yard was trashed. And the boat was ruined; only half of it was sticking out of the water. I didn't realize how fondly I'd look back on those times when we took the boat out."
Review-By AMG. Let's Go Sailing seems like a pretty average twee band, what with their penchant for the Smiths, their album's construction paper and crayon artwork, and Shana Levy's vulnerable, often vibrato-less vocals. But those who can get past The Chaos in Order's darling cover art will find an album as full of pathos as anything put out by the would-be Elliott Smiths of the world. Let's Go Sailing sounds a little like Rosie Thomas, but they're better off shelved next to Great Aunt Ida; they're whimsical and gentle, but they're also blessed with a complicating, wry world-weariness. "Sideways" is a great example of this — it's sugary and pop-oriented, but it's also laced through with Levy's melancholic, somewhat chagrined vocals. In fact, it's Levy's skill as a singer, her ability to meld sweetness with darkness, vulnerability with cool, that sets Let's Go Sailing apart from other indie pop outfits. There are times when Let's Go Sailing's mopiness can grow a tad wearisome, especially on the painstakingly slow "The Rope Is Long." But by and large this disc drifts along, bellied up by its own airiness. "Come Home Safely," for example, is so puffy and delicate it feels like it could blow away; it's very pure. "The Chaos in Order" is a promising debut on the part of Levy and her bandmates — a good album for those who've grown tired of Belle & Sebastian, as well as anyone who'd like to drift away on a sad little cloud.
Product-buy it here