The Villagers, 'Awayland'

Friday, January 18, 2013

Don't worry, Villagers couldn't be further removed from The Village People. There is no comparison.

The Dublin-born members of Villagers, with their sophomore album "Awayland," bring a mix of alternative rock with the quirk we fell in love with from Gotye's "Somebody I Used to Know" or Of Mice and Men's "Little Talks" and a harmony that channels just enough Jonsi (or Sigur Ros) to be interesting. The first track, "My Lighthouse, highlights this harmony particularly well.

Villagers aren't as well known in the United States, though their previous album, "Becoming a Jackal" was nominated for the Mercury Prize.

After hearing them live in New York City, New York Time's John Pareles likened them to The Frames, U2 and Leonard Cohen.

Frontman Conor O'Brien described his lyrics to "The Guardian" as "an eerie sense of disquiet." "Earthly Pleasures" and "The Waves" showcase the lyrics well.

This is a band that would be good to see live. The background vocals and instrumentation offer a full sound that would only surround a concert-goer with music, allowing as much of an experience as a good show.

Whether Villagers will do well on this side of the Atlantic is hard to tell. They've definitely got talent, and they've got a good sound. Their quirky tendencies, however, may be too over-the-top for many listeners.

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