Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Premiere: Ancient Cities’ “Werewolf”

July 29, 2014

Ancient Cities - Ancient Cities

I’m always honored when I get asked to premiere tracks, but I don’t often do it–I want to be fully behind a band before I put my seal of approval on it. But there’s a premiere today, because I am 100% behind Charlotte, North Carolina’s Ancient Cities.

Ancient Cities’ “Werewolf” is a complex tune that deceives you into thinking it’s not as difficult as it is. Songwriter Stephen Warwick deftly balances gentle acoustic guitar, walloping drums, lazy horns, reverb-washed tenor vocals, and warbly synth in a way that makes each of those disparate parts feel like a natural part of the arrangement. In lesser hands, it could be a mishmash, but Warwick’s arrangement gives each instrument space to be itself. The song comes together, and it seems obvious. Of course it’s supposed to sound like that. (But it didn’t have to–that’s the magic.)

This excellent songwriting is capped by a deft production job that keeps the “laid-back cool” vibe going throughout the entire song. Beck would be proud. “Werewolf” draws from folk, trip-hop, the Gorillaz, and heavily-arranged singer/songwriter fare to create something beyond all of that. “Werewolf” is a fascinating, memorable track that I bet you’ll want to push repeat on.

Ancient Cities’ self-titled record is out today, so jump on over to Bandcamp and check out the rest of this intriguing, complex album.

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[…] of folk, psych, and pop is prominently displayed on their new self-titled debut album, out now. Independent Clauses is premiering the track “Werewolf,” which they call “fascinating and memorable.” Featuring members of luminary Charlotte […]

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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