In a stunning version of musical New Math, Seattle duo Thousands actually consists of two people--Kristian Garrard and Luke Bergman--but the music they play sounds as if it's being played by...two people. Very quietly.
The Sound Of Everything, the band's Bella Union debut, is one of this year's more fascinating records: Produced at a very low budget, much of the quiet, acoustic material was recorded outside the confines of a studio--by the banks of the Columbia River, a barn, a silo, a staircase with interesting acoustics, and, in general, places that lend an overall sense of "field recording" to the entire venture.
Between them, Garrard and Bergman have been--and remain--in a variety of other area groups, including Heatwarmer and Born Under The Sun Of Death, many of which don't sound the slightest bit like Thousands; the duo's mixture of acoustic guitars and compelling harmonies was clearly unique enough to stand on its own as a separate unit. The band's introduction to England's highly respected Bella Union label came about via their friendship with the Fleet Foxes; Foxes guitarist Skye Skjelset liked what he heard and passed it on to Simon Raymonde, who runs the label.
Y! Music caught Thousands during our recent trip to Austin's South By Southwest conference; their music fit neatly within the "informal" presentation of our so-called Bedroom Sessions and, as you'll see below, was well-played, well-sung, and, however quietly, impressive indeed.