Antarctica Takes It! – ‘The Penguin League’ – Album Review

Antarctica Takes It! have restored what faith there is left in what it means to be an indie(pendent) band: their debut album ‘The Penguin League’ was originally recorded unfettered onto a friends laptop and released back in 2006 to the tune of $6 that had to be sent direct to the band. The results of their humbling DIY attitude unfortunately fell upon deaf ears, despite the obvious underground critical acclaim of many puritans.

The four piece, from Santa Cruz, remain somewhat of an enigma: procreated as a bedroom band by the prodigious talents of 22-year-old Dylan McKeever, the album’s full debut is intended for release February 11th (via How Does It Feel To Be Loved? Records). Aurally the result is a more polished radio-friendly sound, yet it still manages to maintain its infatuation and manifesto with the simplicity of its origin. The result: an incredibly charming and animated lo-fi debut of virginal purity.

The album as a body of work exudes an exultingly warm essence with the subtleties of uniquely stripped-down instrumentations that conjure a veritable orchestra of folk pop pleasures. Stand out tracks such as “Antarctica” and “Circuits” float celestially between accordions and ukuleles for a brooding sense of pragmatism.

It is the sheer lack of modern day pretence and pomposity that could have been forced upon it in accordance with major label requirements and pressures that make it so free and unassumingly listenable, allowing them to sit comfortably amongst the likes of an early Belle and Sebastian and Beirut.

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