In a musical landscape pitted with pop stars and pigeonholes, Maps & Atlases defy easy categorization, choosing to walk their own incomparable path. Beware and Be Grateful builds upon the Chicago-based band's acclaimed Barsuk debut, Perch Patchwork, melding their trademark experimentalism with a more direct though no less beguiling songcraft. The new album abounds with invention, spanning hymnal harmonies, percolating rhythms, even, in the case of centerpiece track "Silver Self", a full-on guitar solo. Songs like "Remote and Dark Years" and "Winter" are gloriously liquid and lyrical, channeling M&A's maximalist creativity into a truly inviting brand of boundary-busting, asymmetrical pop.
The EP includes new remixes and live tracks not previously released on Perch Patchwork, including remixes by Andy Monaghan of Frightened Rabbit, Josh Morrissey and Friendly Ghost as well as a live version of the Perch Patchwork favorite "Solid Ground" recorded live at Electraplay Studios in Columbus, OH.
Maps & Atlases' unique style melds the technicality of progressive music and the idiosyncrasies of art rock into a fascinating and oddly accessible sound all their own. Known for their virtuosic musical ability, they write pop songs with a magnificent aptitude for texture and a distinctive blend of both the intricate and organic.
"It was great to be able to step outside of our live setting and imagine the songs in a different way," said guitarist Erin Elders about the recording process for Perch Patchwork. "Jason Cupp brought another dimension to the songs that was really exciting to hear. We were able to deconstruct them part by part and then rebuild each verse or chorus with a different sonic idea."
Continues singer/guitarist David Davison, "We went into the record with the understanding that the creation of the album would be separate from its existence as a live piece of music, which was really liberating."
Previously available only at the band's shows, this 3-song EP features the single "Solid Ground", plus two alternate versions of album tracks. We have a limited number of copies for sale.