This is one way unheralded bands get discovered. They make music as lush, textured and wonderful as that of Brooklyn band Snowmine. Frontman Grayson Sanders is the orchestrator of it all, but there are so many moving parts within each song that the execution is wonderfully refreshing. Snowmine has five permanent members, but the cast of characters that joins them on Laminate Pet Animal brings the number to 13. It’s a lucky 13, as you’ll hear.
“Penny” sounds to me like a complicated love story. Girl plays hard to get, but guy is devoted nonetheless. He’s perpetually hopeful that things will work out, but finds he’s let down every time. The story repeats. It’s a melancholy tale, but told in such a whimsical way — with walls of echoing guitars, chimes and pounding percussion, sweeps of strings and Sanders’ rollercoaster vocals — that it’s easy to get sucked in.
Lead track “Beast In Air, Beast In Water” brings to mind a funkier Ramona Falls. It begins with a sort of tribal beat and, eventually, bursts forth into gorgeous landscape of strings and keys and dramatic swells. Many of the songs on Laminate Pet Animal feel more like compositions than songs. There are tiny movements. Horns dance in and out and mingle with those strings. The pace changes seamlessly. It’s thoroughly enjoyable listening.
And the final sample we offer here, “The Hill,” feels a little bit like the Vacationer track we posted a few weeks back, but only at the start. The orchestral elements wash over into the delightful beat and mingle with some jangling guitars. Sanders’ cadence here — even when it’s distorted and manipulated — spins amongst the other musical gears with perfection. And two-thirds of the way through, we’ve got a nice guitar/string solo that fades back into a wonderfully layered conclusion.
I was in a musical funk in recent weeks. Snowmine’s Laminate Pet Animal is helping me climb out of it. I think you’ll hear why. Plus, it’s a pay-what-you-want download on the group’s bandcamp page.