During some down time between touring and official recordings, [lastfm]Kevin Devine[/lastfm] teamed up with the guys from [lastfm]Manchester Orchestra[/lastfm] to form Bad Books, an introspective and spacious rock project that takes time to breath but is still capable of raising your blood pressure on occasion. Generally speaking, I’m a sucker for side projects. There’s a palpable feeling of freedom and purity in motivation. They’re completely free of obligation, worry, or stress. There’s no pressure to make money, because let’s be honest, side projects rarely do, and if they do, they stop being a side project and just start being your new band.Everyone who plays on a side project is doing it because they want to. No one has to put on another pot of coffee to sober up the drummer who drinks because he hates the songs but shows up because he has to feed more kids than he cares to name. The guitar player’s not trying to sleep with the singer’s girlfriend or settling for the engineer’s hooker, and the bass player’s not rushing through the rerecording of his tracks out of fear that the blow will all be gone by the time he’s done.It’s that feeling that a lot of bands struggle to return to after their first album. It’s just some buddies who sat down and started writing a song together one afternoon, and by the time they stood up, realized they were close enough to having an album’s worth of material to do it again. They’re id albums. You just follow the flow and record it because it’s good.Of course Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine don’t struggle with the stale problems listed above: they’re all inspired artists who are in it for the right reasons, but still Bad Books does have a sense of freedom from obligation and expectations. While it clearly sounds like the artists involved, it doesn’t sound like it would appear on their respective albums.If you’re a fan of any of the artists involved, it’s required listening, and if you’re not yet, it’s an equally good introduction to some quality musicians you ought to know about.You can get a free download here or pick up a digital copy of the album here and listen to a bunch of the tracks here. The hard copy will be available on November 9th.
- [listenlive id="37476"][/listenlive]
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