Published Jul 01, 2005While the Wooden Stars appear to be back on their feet after a long hiatus, fans will always leave room for Michael Feuerstacks other band Snailhouse. Enigmatic and morose, Snailhouse often captures the sound of loneliness, whether through Feuerstacks quavering vocals or his sparsely arranged music. With the Silence Show, hes got a stellar band to back him up on some wonderfully poignant, coy, and witty songs. The title track begins tentatively with a subdued electric guitar receiving support from producer Dave Draves subtle keys. The full ensemble including Aaron Booth, Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire), and Samir Khan (Kepler) make their presence felt on the slyly written "Birds and Bees, which recalls the patient phrasing of Scott Merritt. The band begins to bubble beneath the soaring vocals of "Makeshift Family only to disappear during Feuerstacks laconic reading of "Dont Blame Me. They dip back in sporadically, most effectively providing a subtle 50s R&B vibe on songs like "God Created Monsters and "Out in the Sun. Elsewhere Snailhouse sounds like a thoughtful post-rock band, turning songs inside-out to get at their heart and guts and finding them every time. The Silence Show is a heavy record but its composition is also weightless, freeing Feuerstacks songs to proudly float skyward.
Where do you suppose the emotional weight of Snailhouse songs comes from? As a kid, I was always excited when a song went beyond the depth of what youd expect from a pop song. Like "I Want You by Elvis Costello. The first time I heard that, it just went so deep and dark that it almost seems invasive but it takes a framework we all know and intensifies it. Thats the kind of thing Id ideally like my songs to be; something that just stops you and demands to be listened to.
What does the Silence Show mean to you as an idea? Its basically the things unsaid; everything in between the obvious, the things you dont say to your friends that maybe you should. Theres so much interesting in what doesnt get said in life in general and thats probably true in music as well. You dont want anything to be too blatant or obvious.
I hear tinges of humour within these songs Thats nice to hear because people are quick to say that the songs are depressing or great for when they want to take a nap and, you know, wallow or whatever. The songs are filled with jokes as far as Im concerned. Theyre pretty subtle though; its not like Im cracking one-liners or something. (Scratch)