Monday, December 20, 2004

The Strugglers: "Don't you know what will happen/ with your staring at the world like that?"

Chapel Hill's Randy Bickford is the driving force behind the Strugglers. I guess the quick genre description of their music would be "lo-fi alt-country" or something like that. Will Oldham seems to be the critics' most common comparison.

It's mellow, simple songwriting that highlights Bickford's warm voice, often backed by steel guitar. The folk/country influence has gotten stronger in recent years, it seems: contrast the shuffling electronic-sounding beat of "On the Way to the Grave" from 2001's Done By the Strugglers to the more wholly organic sound of the songs from 2004's The Fair Store.

MP3: "Goodness Graicious"
MP3: "Until I Slept"
(from The Fair Store, Acuarela/Darla 2004. Buy. Read the Pitchfork review [7.5])

MP3: "The New Room"
MP3: "Your Laugh"
(from The New Room, Tract Records 2003. Buy)

MP3: "On the Way to the Grave"
(from Done by the Strugglers, Tract Records 2001. Buy)

Hear the band at Local 506 on January 21 with Cub Country. Should be a good show! After that, they're touring Europe with Destroyer.


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