Do you like shaggy dudes from indie bands who now moonlight as solo artists singing songs that seem peppy on the outside, but might have, like, deeply deep meanings underneath? Then late January/early February will be a pleasant time for you, my PopWatching friends, thanks to two records I’m certain will enhance your lives. Neither has the relative commercial oomph of an Arcade Fire or Shins (advances I was salivating over around this time in 2007), but given the eventual overkill I felt courtesy of both those records, maybe that’s a good thing.
On January 29th, fans of Adam Brody poster children Death Cab for Cutie get Field Manual, the anticipated first solo record from guitarist Chris Walla (pictured, left) who may in fact be better known at this point for his work as a producer for acts like The Decemberists (hey! I like them!), and who battled U.S. Homeland Security (jerks stole his hard drive) to bring this collection of drifty boy ditties to you and yours.
And on February 5th, fans of on-hiatus Broken Social Scene guitarist Jason Collett (right) will be treated to more of his Canadian old-school folk-rock on Here’s to Being Here, the followup to 2006’s Idols of Exile. He gets less help from his BSS brethren this time, instead recording with touring band Paso Mino, which may be a good thing in terms of clarity of focus; I wish I lived in a dorm right now so I could listen to this instead of all that Grateful Dead I bizarrely enjoyed at the time.
Check out Walla’s endearing “Sing Again” (link via Barsuk) and the warm Dylan-meets-Lou-Reed vibe of Collett’s“Out of Time” (link via Stereogum) and then report back in the comments: Are these boys worthy of being advanced?