Influenced by a wild expanse of influences from Radiohead and Argentina’s Soda Stereo to Canadian indie rockers Broken Social Scene and the psychedelic pop/rock of Grizzly Bear, New Orleans based ambient rockers Biglemoi brings a fascinating multi-cultural fusion to their deliciously eclectic latest EP Permanent Vacation.
What’s a Biglemoi? Let’s head to France, where surrealist wave author Boris Vian created the term for a fantastical dance of free-flowing energy in his opus “Froth on the Daydream (L’Ecume des Jours).” The group is fronted by Managua-born George Elizondo (vocals, guitar) and Madrid native Violeta del Rio (keyboard, synths, vocals), who bring to the mix their respective vast backgrounds in traditional Nicaraguan song and contemporary classical music.
Add to this lead guitarist Jeremy Marx’s scorching electric and exquisitely subtle acoustic, and the alternately feisty and lilting grooves of Matthew Bigelow (bass) and Jonathan Arceneaux (drums), and you’ve got an otherworldly experience rooted in NOLA yet truly and spiritually from many points on the globe. Blissfully, no two tracks are alike. True to its title, “Joyride” is a rumbling, jangling rocker that soars heavenward as often as its grunge-grounded.
The Spanish language “Sola” is a completely opposite sonic experience, pure caressing atmosphere with gentle lead vocals backed by a hypnotic acoustic guitar. After blending the best of these two approaches on the title track, Biglemoi jams towards the stratosphere again on the high energy but dreamily melodic “Decipher.” Permanent Vacation wraps with the soulful, liquid acoustic and vocal harmony hypnosis of “Other Side,” which is as much an otherworldly mindbender as anything that comes before.
Bands like Biglemoi are fascinating because though they draw from a multitude of sources, there’s no single adjective, genre designation or band that can be used for fair comparison. The album title is appropriate considering how these five tracks take listeners on a delightful vacation from any preconceived notions or expectations they might have had going in.