Un-Heavy Music Recommendation: Silversun Pickups

I know, I know. Indie music on a metal blog is grounds for lynching. But hear me out on this.

Silversun Pickups are not your ordinary indie band. They flirt around with alternative and hard rock and the shoegaze and dreampop influence is interesting. Singer/Guitarist Brian Aubert’s vocals are mostly soft falsetto. On first listen, some just might think they’re hearing bassist Nikki Monninger. While she does do backing vocals, it’s mostly Brian doing the singing.

“Panic Switch”, Swoon (2009)

Drummer Christopher Guanlao is interesting to me, in that he is left handed and plays the standard right hand kit while playing as if he were on a left hand kit, with left hand doing hi-hats and right doing snare. This makes for some interestingly snare rolls and drum fills that right hand players will find difficult to play because of hand positioning. Keyboardist Joe Lester can play with and manipulate Brian’s guitar signal during performances for interesting effects and sounds. When he’s not messing with Brian’s tone, he’s playing faintly in the background, making for a full and spacey environment.

“Well Thought Out Twinkles”, Carnavas (2006)

If you like the fuzzy guitars and atmosphere of Deftones, the laid back spaciness of Cynic, and the pop sensibilities of Devin Townsend, you might just like Silversun Pickups (although a better description of their sound would be throwing Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and Smashing Pumpkins in a blender). 2009’s Swoon was one of my favorites last year, but I left it off of my best-of list for not being being any form of metal. But now, I want to praise them for their good work. I’d highly recommend Swoon. Hell, I even paid for the album because I loved it so much.

So there you have it. Silversun Pickups: non-metal worth paying for.

Lazy Eye” (Live), Carnavas (2006)

– JR

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