Back when Broken Social Scene was gaining traction, it seemed that everyone with even a tiny connection to Canada’s über-indie collective was putting out a record. The 2004 debut from Memphis (the other project featuring Torquil Campbell from dream pop darlings Stars) was easily lost in the shuffle for two reasons. One, while Stars, Feist, Apostle of Hustle and all the rest were dropping albums on the taste-making Arts & Crafts label, Memphis was working with another fledgling indie, Paper Bag. Two, the band’s album, I Dreamed We Fell Apart, was like audio wallpaper — nondescript, inoffensive pop that quickly faded into the background.
For its latest release, the shimmering Here Come a City, both those things have been remedied. Campbell and his songwriting partner Chris Dumont haven’t drastically revamped their sound, but they have distilled their mild, mid-tempo pop into its most compelling form. Beautiful compact instrumentals live side by side with tender songs that showcase Campbell’s distinct voice and though the entire album is gorgeously produced, it’s not afraid to embrace its dark side. Constructing songs with lovely musical arrangements, hypnotic refrains and a hint of irony, Memphis has now come out of the shadow of Campbell’s more famous band to establish its own musical identity.
-Jason Lewis, Fast Forward Weekly
buy the album here: http://arts-crafts.ca/releases_spotlight.php?search=AC060&artist=Memphis