One of Nashville’s most underrated bands is back with a brand new album. The Nobility (formerly Jetpack, then Jetpack UK) just released their latest, The Secret of Blennerhassett Island, and it’s a masterpiece. 2007’s The Mezzanine was their first proper album under the new moniker, and it firmly set the tone for their future as a band. That tone was one of more mature, intricate, and clever songs with a wide array of instrumentation, all with an unwavering pop sensibility. They stated in their own description of the album that they had been listening to early Paul McCartney and Kinks records, and it shows. TSBI (I refuse to type that name again!) is clearly influenced by the same era of pop music, but no matter how obvious the influences are, these songs never get old or tired. I’ve always loved a good marriage of band to producer, and this album is no exception. They worked with Brian Carter of Paradox Productions as they did with The Mezzanine, and honestly I don’t think there’s a better producer for this band than him. The orchestral instrumentation fits perfectly where it’s used, and it’s never over-used. Especially impressive are the horn arrangements. TSBI is easily one of the best albums to come out of Nashville’s rock scene this year, so go get it at their bandcamp page and thank me later. AND go see them at the record release party on Nov. 14th Nov. 4th at the Rutledge.

The new She & Him video for the song “In the Sun” is very predictable and run-of-the-mill… not that music videos always have to blow one’s mind, but still… I guess it’s in the record contract that Zooey Deschanel-Gibbard has to dance and skip around blissfully while doing cute grins and eye-winks. Whatevs. Go watch it at Stereogum. Then come back here and watch this Jetpack (now known as the Nobility) video that the She & Him video reminded me of. Some serious Nashville rock nostalgia in there… including yours truly, sans-glasses in the green tshirt and goatee, right behind Sean Williams. I do believe this video (for the song “Mathematics” off their Art of Building a Moat EP) was filmed in May of 2005 in a Lipscomb classroom, if memory serves. This is is an alternate version that translates much better through the pixelation of YouTube. The final version had a bunch of rotoscoping effects that probably looked great in full-quality, but came out pretty nasty through YouTube. Directed and edited by Chad Denning of Gamma Blast.

Those Darlins are heading down under in May to tour with Wagons. They’re apparently also releasing a split EP with them as well. To my knowledge, this is the first time our ladies have left North America to play shows. They may have hopped over to the UK at some point and I just missed it… but frankly I don’t have the time or energy to look that up right now. (Via Spunk)

New Nobility tracks/EP

July 21, 2009

I was absolutely delighted to find a press release from The Nobility in my inbox today. They have a new 3-song EP set for release on August 14th. The release show will be that night at the Basement. The EP will be called Gentle Giant and the title track is available for free download at their bandcamp page. From the press release:

The first chance to purchase the single will be through digicards for sale only at this Aug. 14 show. Digital downloads will be available after Aug. 14 through retailers Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, Napster, and eMusic. A free high quality download of the title track is now up on The Nobility’s Bandcamp page in a variety of music nerd-approved formats, including FLAC, AAC, Lossless, and MP3. All three songs are streaming in their entirety at

I absolutely love these songs. I’ve literally had the songs on repeat from the bandcamp page ever since I got the email and I can decisively say that it’s some of their best work yet. They are one of those few bands who just seem to get better and better as times goes on. Sean Williams’ songwriting is catchy as ever, yet it’s gotten more thoughtful and intricate. Of course Brian Carter’s production is on the dot, as always. The title track is easily the bounciest, most accessible of the three, but Mr. Danby/Mr. Blackman is a real gem, too. When the multi-layered harmonies came in at the end on my first listen, it was so beautiful I almost jumped out of my chair. Please do yourself and the band a favor by purchasing the EP when it’s officially released on Aug. 14th. If all goes as planned, the band plans to put out a full-length album on vinyl next year.