The Six Parts Seven

Lost Notes From Forgotten Songs

Founded by Allen and Jay Karpinski in 1995, Ohio's the Six Parts Seven (manifested these days as anything from a quartet to a sextet) has crafted three full-lengths (and a split EP with the Black Keys) that provide listeners with rainy-day instrumentals, music that's spacious and sad and telling of its makers' isolation. With the release of Lost Notes From Forgotten Songs, however, we find out that the band is perhaps not so lonely after all: It has some pretty amazing fans, including the likes of Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse, Pedro the Lion, and Carissa's Wierd. The record is a reimagining of sorts, on which some of indie rock's celebrity lyricists have written words to accompany their own reworked selections from the band's catalog. It's a bizarre notion, considering it's been released as a Six Parts Seven record and the group doesn't even play on it, but it certainly captures the moody, spacious aesthetic the band purveys.

The record's opener, "Sleeping Diagonally," finds Iron & Wine's Sam Beam harmonizing with his own whispers over folksy acoustic guitars. "From California to Houston, On Lightspeed" has Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock pasting his nasal croon over out-of-time drums and sparse banjo. On "Seems Like Most Everything Used to Be Something Else," Pall Jenkins of the Black Heart Procession sings softly and pits occasional piano against slide guitar and a bunch of tweaked laptop glitch-noise. Young People's Katie Eastburn channels Sonic Youth's dissonance with a distorted keyboard and shouts her fem-freakout screams on "Cold Things Never Catch Fire." Finally, on "A Blueprint of Something Never Finished," Pedro the Lion's David Bazan is in fine form, employing his brand of rich emo-vocals, lush overcompressed drums, and moral preaching ("You shouldn't have been unfaithful you stupid bitch"), adding, this time around, melodic echo-guitar and background banshee noise. The record's nine tracks stay faithful to the somber mood that the Six Parts Seven likes, adding just another layer of intimacy to a warm and placid formula.

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