P:ano Brigadoon

Brigadoon is P:ano’s ambitious debut for Mint Records and it proves itself to be a well-crafted love-letter to the grand tradition of scrappy, orchestral pop music. The band are pretty up front about the debt they owe pioneering geeky songwriters like Brian Wilson and Stephin Merritt whose moody lyrics demanded layers of symphonic music for accompaniment. While the influence of Wilson’s mid-’60s work is present throughout Brigadoon — most notably on songs like "Covered Wagons” and "Clapping Hands” — P:ano is generally interested in creating some brash, contemporary, new wave music. "Heavens” is a by-the-numbers, Magnetic Fields ode while "Georgey the Horsey” will please Yo La Tengo fans. "Sweet Sweets” is a stark, stream of consciousness piece that recalls the Fiery Furnaces, and the Hidden Cameras are invoked on "Somebody Get Me Annette” and, in particular, on "Light O’ Love.” A distinctive song like "Dark Hills” may be the album’s highlight because it is startlingly good and less derivative than almost anything else here. You can feel the sweat poured into Brigadoon but there is something all too familiar about this collection. That said, it is possible to lose oneself in P:ano’s heady, wall-of-sound approach to art-rock. (Mint)