As the influential music blogerati becomes more and more obsessed with artists who mask their lack of songs/skills with retro shtick, lo-fi fuzz and a thick haze of reverb, it’s good to know there are still bands like The Thoughts out there who know how to, y’know, write songs and play them well.
The Seattle-based trio is nothing if not ambitious. Armed with drums and a guitar, yes, but also violin and harp, The Thoughts make grand, symphonic indie pop for sharp minds and mellow mornings, replete with Ian Williams’ swooping melodies, Jon Horwath’s tasteful percussion and Katie Mosehauer’s inventive work on various stringed things.
The Thoughts’ new album, “I Won’t Keep You Here,” comprises 11 songs that are sometimes sparse, sometimes splendid and always exceedingly pretty. Think Radiohead’s quietest moments, Midlake indulging in a bit of uncharacteristic grandeur, or The Decemberists without the history lessons and you’ve got an idea of what The Thoughts do so well.
Study up at www.thethoughtsmusic.com before you catch them tonight at The Horned Hand, where the bill also includes two of the more interesting local bands to emerge in Bend recently.
Opening the show will be Oh Sugoi!, the propulsive math-rock side project of Empty Space Orchestra’s Shane Thomas and Lindsey Elias, and Rural Demons, the lurching indie-alt-folk band that has been playing all over town in the past few months.
— Ben Salmon