It was Meghan's dying wish to meet popstar Debbie Gibson.
- Posted on Jun 16th 2011 7:00PM by Tabassum Siddiqui
Courtesy of the Details
Most indie bands would kill for the kind of eyebrow-raising backstory Winnipeg quartet the Details boast in their bio -- turns out the group was pursued by Kim Fowley (best known as the Svengali of 1970s girl-group the Runaways) after randomly crossing paths with the infamous manager/producer during SXSW in 2009.
Apparently the story goes like this: upon being cornered by Fowley in an elevator in Austin, Details bassist Keli Martin handed the towering white-haired stranger a press kit -- a few weeks later, the band was surprised to discover Fowley's true identity when he called up, offering to bring them down to California to work together.
Though bowled over by Fowley's overture, the Details ultimately turned him down in favour of working with a producer closer to home, tapping Weakerthans guitarist Stephen Carroll to helm their new album, 'Lost Art.' Carroll had produced other artists before, but called in his pal Brandon Reid (production manager for NYC indie heroes the National) to lend a hand working the board.
As it happens, the Details' warm indie rock sound falls comfortably between the literate alt-rock of the Weakerthans and the sweeping soundscapes of the National -- fans of both acts would find much to enjoy on 'Lost Art,' which offers up polished melodies and smart storytelling in equal measure.
In fact, upon first listen of 'Weightless in the Dark,' it's easy to almost mistake the song for a Weakerthans number, with its folk-rock underpinnings and lyrical bent. The Details certainly traffic in the same kind of storytelling-through-song as John K. Samson and Co. -- from the moment singer-guitarist Jon Plett sings the first line: "Well, I failed to know you long/Before you walked into the door/Before the elevator broke/On the 97th floor," the listener wants to know how it all ends.
Plett's Everyman vocals are augmented by some pleasing harmonies that nicely complement the countrified melodies and rootsy guitar, though the song also reveals enough of a catchy pop edge that'll have you humming along like you've heard it a hundred times before. A brief hushed interlude where the band takes a step back to allow Plett to drive a lyric home is a clever little counterpoint that underscores a real attention to detail in the songwriting.
There's a certain tricky balancing act to a great song -- it should sound effortless while also hinting at the painstaking craft behind it. 'Weightless in the Dark' is that kind of a tune -- the sort of sound that should hopefully garner the Details the same kind of attention as their other musical peers from Winnipeg.
Download: The Details, 'Weightless in the Dark' (MP3)
The Details play the Manitoba Music showcase at the Gladstone Hotel tonight (June 16) @ 11PM