The Bigger Empty was formed in part my Mike Felumlee of Smoking Popes. In 2014, Felumlee went into the studio, joined by his longtime backing band, to record his new album–but this time, something was different. At some point, he realized, they’d stopped making a record, and had inadvertently started a new band.
Felumlee writes unconventionally conventional pop songs–sometimes the chords or melodies don’t go quite where you expect them to, but once the song gets where it’s going, you’re glad to have been wrong. His voice is sincere and unaffected, his lyrics clever but without guile. The addition of Moudry brings a richness to the songs, her voice blending seamlessly with Felumlee’s to reinforce existential musings, gentle admonitions and everything in between, her piano expanding the textural palette in directions never even hinted at on Vs. The Cloud. Counihan’s playing style adds sophistication and a palpable sense of excitement to Felumlee’s rhythm parts, while Baschen and Baird are a veritable machine, a rhythm section honed by a lifetime of working together, maintaining a level of workmanlike consistency while never sounding mechanical, never missing an opportunity for a well-timed flourish.
Outdoor Velour’s Face The Strange is an album all about change, right down to the David Bowie reference in its title. (Or, perhaps, it’s less about change and more about ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, as it were). It’s a soundtrack to an Indiana uprooting and all the weirdness that can come with that, especially for a pair of thirty-somethings whose bodies, brains and hearts are damn well settled into jobs, friendships, hobbies and other comfortable routines. With OV, at least, it would appear that the grass is, in fact, greener.
Dopplepopolis is a fuzz power indie, punk, pop band.