At the intersection of Band of Horses and Arcade Fire, with a touch of Bon Iver and an affinity for the xylophone, is Capybara, a Kansas City quartet that has had a busy two years riding the success of their debut album Try Brother and co-signs from Spike Jonze and the Strokes. Try Brother was recorded in a frozen pueblo in New Mexico, and that same sense of warmth in a cold place emanates throughout their follow-up, Dave Drusky. With a knack for catchy, dreamy music and a sly sense of humor (the album’s title could be a reference to the guitarist of goofball metal band Goblin Cock), Capybara has made Dave Drusky into the perfect winter album. The vocals sound like they’ve escaped from within the recesses of a dark, snow-covered house; the percussion tip-taps placidly along, reminiscent of rain on a window or the drumming of fingers on a table, tapping their way to the first thaw.
Some may complain that Dave Drusky doesn’t often wake from its down tempo crystalline dream, but I think that’s one of its biggest strengths. It’s an album that takes its time and revels in the moment. It’s the soundtrack to watching snowflakes drift over Seattle, or Kansas City, or Brooklyn. With catchy tracks like “Late Night Blues” and “Bill Dabbler, Lorn Line” to propel them, I expect Capybara to have another big year in 2012.