Posted by: will | May 17, 2006

Maps & Atlases…

Maps & Atlases “Tree, Swallows, Houses” (Self-Released)


Maps & Atlases are a young band that met and formed in Chicago in 2004. Tree, Swallows, Houses is the band’s seven song debut and it is quite impressive. Maps & Atlases play incredibly intricate indie/math rock in the vein of the criminally underrated Volta Do Mar. The band admits to being quite influenced by genre greats Hella and Don Caballero as well.

As amazing as the instrumentation is on Tree, Swallows, Houses, it’s the original vocal stylings of Dave Davison that put the band above its peers. I can see a lot of people being turned off by his often nasally and high pitched vocals. I find myself comparing him to Tim Kinsella (Cap n’ Jazz, Owls, Joan Of Arc, Make Believe) who is most certainly an acquired taste vocally. What’s so striking here is how the vocals fit so well with the spazzy music of the band. It is something that many bands have tried to do in the past and failed miserably at. However, it works very well for Maps & Atlases and sounds completely natural.

This is a fine debut for this young band. While I must admit that I do not follow this style as much as I once did, Maps & Atlases do it damn well. If you are a fan of this type of music this is definitely a band that I encourage you to check out.

RIYL: Volta Do Mar, Hella, Don Caballero


Maps & Atlases – Every Place Is A House (mp3)



  1. I saw them at UWM and they rocked. I picked up the CD (I always support local bands as it karmaticly balances with my downloading of 95% of mainstream music) and have not been disappointed. I have heard similar sounds before, but M&A manage to sound completely natural in doing so. A+ with a gold star.

  2. […] Maps & Atlases “Ongoing Horrible” Video… March 19, 2007 Posted by soundaslanguage in Music Video, Video, Music. trackback I simply can not wait for new Maps & Atlases material. Perhaps this video will quench my hunger. Or maybe it just makes the wait all the more painful. Either way, it’s great. If you have not picked up the band’s brilliant EP, Tree, Swallows, Houses, you should certainly do so. You can check out my review here. […]

  3. This is a reminder that music has not died. This album really paints a picture for your brain. It’s amazing how the staccato notes of the guitar, the constantly moving rhythm, the bold bass guitar, and the unique vocals come together to create the most soothing chaos one will ever hear.

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