CD Review – 2=2: Los DosAbes
Okay, so when does one plus one equal three? When you’re talking about the Two Abes, of course (www.TheTwoAbes.bandcamp.com). Comprised originally of Abe Evans and Grant Abronski, and now with recent addition Taylor Lovejoy, this trio is the best of the next generation of acoustic indie music. Yet, for their first recording, one plus one still equals two as Los DosAbes is just the original pair of Abe and Grant singing their pre-Taylor arrangements. With strong leanings towards Mumford and Sons, their repertoire leans heavily on ukelele, acoustic guitar and beautifully interlaced vocals, but can also intermingle fluent trumpet here and there. Surely this is what music was meant to be.
Starting off with a cover of Beirut’s Elephant Gun (2007, Zach Condon), the daring duo uses the gentle persuasion of their vocals to tease out the subtleties of institutionalized violence against both man and nature. They then jump back to 1931 and Gerald Marks and Seymour Simmons All Of Me, replete with vintage muffled trumpet and vaudevillian style accented lyrics. Next it’s almost back to the future with Scott Avett’s 2007 release of Murder In The City, san’s trumpet, but with a guitar-ukelele mix that mirrors the wonderful memories that can remain even within a family torn by lose. In track four (track five, really, if you count the lively dialogue track that prologues the music), Abe and Grant perform No Tears, their single original track which – if originality, harmony and creativity are any indication – I am hopeful that their next CD, when 1+1=3 again with Taylor, is nothing but originals.
The CD’s second half starts off with Of Monsters And Men’s 2011 chart topper Little Talks, where Abe and Grant’s voices wash us safely upon the shore of one of Iceland’s greatest indie-folk-pop groups. From Iceland, this traveling team lands in Instanbul (Not Constantinople), Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon’s swing-style homage originally made famous by Bing Crosby’s 1953 recording with Ella Fitzgerald. They then launch into Foster The People’s 2010 debut hit Pumped Up Kicks, a bullet paced song about getting even at the end of a gun. And then at their end, Abe and Grant reprise Sufjan Stevens’ Casimir Pulaski Day, an unexpected mix of Michigan holidays and bone cancer, a surprising combination by a surprising duo, now trio.
So get out your favorite CD player and calculator and take a listen to just how good one plus one sounds when it still equals two. Cause before you know it, their next CD will prove to you how incredible one plus one can be when it finally equals three.