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The Organ

Thieves

(Mint; US: 14 Oct 2008; UK: 20 Oct 2008)

Thieves is a farewell for the short-lived Vancouver band, the Organ. But the band flew under the radar of many in its brief existence, so this EP may also serve as an introduction for many. And it’s not a bad introduction. The band’s melancholy pop is infused with swaying mood, sounding somehow threadbare and textured at the same time. Sparse guitar chords eventually give way to haunting keys on “Oh What a Feeling”, and similarly “Don’t be Angry” blooms from its humble acoustic ballad beginnings into a sweetly layered combination of fuzzy hums and beautiful vocal harmonies. And over these quietly striking compositions, Kelly Sketch’s vocals can be heartbreaking in her best moments. But they can also be too precious when, on “Even in the Night” for instance, she overreaches, needlessly forcing herself above the music when her voice can mesh so nicely with it. It is those kind of missteps that makes Thieves a bittersweet listen. The EP shows the talent they had built in a short time, while also exposing their limitations on six similarly downtrodden and key-driven tracks. But in its best moments it hints at a possible greatness coming for the band. Unfortunately, that is a promise that won’t ever come to fruition.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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