Aeroplane Pageant - Even the Kids Don't Believe Me
Release Date: May 5, 2009
In October of 2007 during the CMJ blitz in New York City, Vin Accardi and Jesse Lacey made a point of making themselves very visible in and around various Manhattan bars. They weren't scheduled to perform, so why exactly were they making a point of being noticed? It turns out the tandem was showing support for their friends in the Long Island band Aeroplane Pageant, an avant-garde quartet that plays woozy, whimsy indie-pop that's ever-breezy, swirling and slightly frenetic. On their sophomore full-length Even the Kids Don't Believe Me, the band once again forges ahead with their remarkably crafted dream pop, only this time they push the creative edges a little further. At its the core the music of Aeroplane Pageant is nocturnal, soothing and reflective, that's often times amiable, stylish, confident and sexy.
Even the Kids Dont Believe Me possesses a Beatles playfulness that is harnessed by vocalist Brian Kelly's highly memorable vocals. He croons in a voice that quavers and warbles, often times sounding wrecked and damaged and other times sounding inspired and sprite. There's a magnetism to his voice that keeps one wanting more every time he opens his mouth. And then there's the music. Whereas 2007's Wave to the Moon was ethereal and chilly, with hints of shoegaze, Even the Kids Don't Believe Me is slightly melancholic, quirky and earnest. The band is lucky in that they truly don't sound like anyone else. While that's a claim many bands strive for, it's actually quite true for Aeroplane Pageant. Everything about their music is one hundred percent unique.
The album opener "Memory Begins Elsewhere," is a woozy, minute-long warble of gargling voices, crowd chatter and spacey ambiance. The whole vibe is ethereal and dream-like, and yet its undeniably enchanting. Aside from Kelly's vocals, the guitar work is the other exemplary facet of this disc. The riffs curve, duck, cascade and gush rather effusively and the choruses are ephemeral, gnomic and twee. That latter fact is probably the band's only major downfall. While Even the Kids Don't Believe Me is inviting, entertaining and pleasant, there's not enough hooks or singalong choruses to push this album to a top spot.
That being said, there are some solid songs here. The shuffling "And We Go," would be the band's best bet at college radio, and the snarky title track is a searing ditty that seems quintessentially urban and feels like a surefire hipster anthem. Other memorable numbers include the trippy "Mouthful of Flowers," and the sublime closer "After the Car Crash." While these cuts weave in different directions, Kelly's vocals carry this disc throughout. Even when there's little structure and no direction, just listening to him sing is a treat. Deftly recorded by Vampire Weekend producer Shane Patrick Stoneback, Even the Kids Don't Believe Me is a rare delight: a cornucopia of sound that is daring enough to do its own thing and still be entirely charismatic and special.