Band of Horses
Originally titled Dark Rainbow, Band of Horses’ Infinite Arms is an album that is both heavy and uplifting. It is a substantial work that draws from many styles, sounds and influences. When I first brought it home, I wasn’t that into it, but I knew not to trust that—I had initially felt the same way about too many other albums that I later grew to love and revere. It demands full attention and participation, because there are mysteries to be solved, worlds to be discovered, and memories to relive. The vocal harmonies are most reminiscent of Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys, and they will knock you on your ass and send you to heaven. If you ever had a rock stuck in your shoe, you will relate to “For Annabelle.” It is a picture of childhood, with poetry that seems to stream effortlessly from singer Ben Bridwell’s subconscious: “If I were to walk home with you/ Hearing every word, thinking it’s true/ The berry field for us to cut through/ On our victory lap, past an old stray cat/ That turns to stop and see you/ Small stone somewhere in your shoe/ All day long.” An album for music lovers.