Friends since elementary school, Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian have always been on the same page—even if the page sometimes turned to new and unexplored territories. Democratic towards almost every aspect of their music, Turn Brakes, a sometimes underestimated UK band, have been making actually some pretty decent music for more than 10 years.
It’s hard to pinpoint Turin Brakes with a definite music style. Some may call it Britpop, others may call it folk pop, and some may call it just plan indie rock. The truth of the matter is that the sound they produce can’t be really classified to a definite style, because in its essence, the Siamese creativeness these life partners have given to each one of their songs is by itself a style they have made their own. I like to call it BFF indie rock, or osmosis rock.
In Bottled at Source: The Best of the Source Years, making allusion to their label, the band came up with a “best of” that’s a real pleasure to listen. This goes for new and old-time listeners. The truth is that these guys have made themselves quite a repertoire to choose from over time, and they didn’t hesitate to choose from their singles and their most catchy and enjoyable songs. There’s a certain spice of humbleness which gives this album just enough good flavor to entice new listeners as well as satisfy the experienced.
Turin Brakes make catchy pop tunes that, unlike their oft-compared-to contemporaries the Kings of Convenience, are polished shiny enough to grab the attention of unexpected bystanders. Knights´s voice, which at times can feel nasal and somewhat annoying, is always rescued by the deeper sounding voice of his BFF Paridjanian, who attenuates the exaggerations like a fleeting kite, pulling the string to bring it back to a more controllable height. The kaleidoscope-like shape patterns on the kite, although somewhat cheesy, seem much clearer and colorful once Paridjanian is also in control of the string. There is no actual struggle towards control of height; it’s just a matter of implicit understanding.
These guys are actually so thankful and humble with their music and career that they included a second disc in Bottled at Source made up of live versions, unreleased versions, and b-sides. They even let fans participate on the music selection by allowing them to vote on their official site. Although the extra disc may not be very appealing to casual or new listeners, hardcore fans should really enjoy it. Personally, I will stick with Disc One.
So there are basically two engines driving the “Best of Turin Brakes” album: friendship and humility. Maybe it’s not the kind of date you will fall for after a first date, but definitely one you will really feel comfortable talking home to dinner after a nice and delightful sex-free month.