Ice Cream Socialists
Our exploration of the southeast's sprawling music scene continues with a look at an emerging Athens-based indie pop band that has captured my attention. Ice Cream Socialists are a seven-member outfit that's been taking their local scene by storm but to my knowledge have not yet ventured beyond the Classic City. I haven't yet seen them live, but you can bet it's on my agenda.
Their album Belles & Missiles was released last fall and was selected by Flagpole as the #2 local release of the year. That's saying something when the locale involved is basically the nation's indie capital (Dark Meat's Universal Indians took top honors). Although their material is firmly rooted in pop, they venture between twee, indie rock, foot-stompin' jamboree-style country ("J. Michael Floyd"), and even a trippy classical interlude ("Waltz") rather effortlessly. The schizophrenic "Luv Dem Cannonballz" features both lovely violin playing and an unexpected "rap" segment. Hell, they evoke The Arcade Fire with the soaring climax of "Fuzz is a Friend." Few bands I've heard go from cute to menacing to epic and back again in the course of 10 tracks.
As you might guess given the size of the band, they expand upon the traditional guitar-bass-drums format by adding keys, accordian, and violin to the mix. In fact, the liner notes to B&M also list two drummers. Take that Mickey & Bill.
Enough dancing about architecture -- here are a couple of tracks from Belles & Missiles to check out:
Ice Cream Socialists - Day of the Danny
Ice Cream Socialists - Zagnut's Revenge
You can also download "Rapunzel" from the band's page at last.fm.
Belles & Missiles is available from the good people at CD Baby. To learn more and hear the demo of their track on a forthcoming Happy Happy Birthday to Me compilation ("Mr. Crazy"), visit their MySpace.