Bishop Allen :: "The Ancient Commonsense of Things"

Bishop Allen almost became a joke in 2007. I don't mean something funny. I mean, they almost became a parody of themselves. Even more dangerously, they almost became a parody and a paradigm at the same time. How do you become an outrageously successful indie rock band? Well, you have a gimmick that gets non-mainstream press. Release an EP every month, check. You write some good songs that someone will put on a mixtape for their ex-girlfriend. "Rain," "Click Click Click," "The Monitor," check, check, check. You license those songs to major corporations. Cash your check checks and put a down payment on a house. Check.

It almost seemed too easy. It was almost like watching someone you know become famous in a foreign country. Sure, it's impressive but maybe a little concerning that it all happened so quickly and don't these people know that this kid was sleeping on your couch like two months ago? For all the people who struggle endlessly to get paid making music, there is one Bishop Allen; a band who worked pretty hard and were fantastically rewarded.

And it might continue and it might not and it might not matter. The band returns with a new record, Grrr..., a title which, when spoken, either communicates a false edginess or a smiling, almost cloying defense. One of the first songs is the slightly urgent and slightly shaky, "The Ancient Commonsense of Things." The chorus is a tiny little slice of indie-pop. There's a xylophone and warm background vocals. Plucked guitars? Check. Languid but pleasing melody? Check. How do you think this band got famous in the first place?

Listen :: Bishop Allen - "The Ancient Commonsense of Thing"

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