Band of the Day

2012.01.28

The City and Horses

Eclectic indie pop tied together by witty, heartfelt lyrics
I'd commit a number of any crimes, If I could get a thousand lashes from your eyes. It's a puerile compliment, I'm a senile delinquent.
lyrics from A Thousand Lashes

The City and Horses are an indie-pop band from New York City led by singer/songwriter Marc Cantone. The band keeps a low profile, Cantone has revealed that he is the producer of a children's TV show, but has not shared much more info about himself. The band plays a goofy take on indie-pop, writing sometimes tender, sometimes rocking songs that never take themselves too seriously. The City and Horses released their debut album I Don't Want To Dream in 2009. “Little Finland,” a song from the album, was used in the music-themed indie film Paper Hearts, starring Michael Cera. The band released their sophomore album We Will Never Be Discovered in 2011 on Brooklyn's Paper Gardens Records.

The members of New York City's The City and Horses haven't shared much about their personal lives, but you get the sense that they're all really, really nice and goofy, the kinds of people who are into bad puns. They sing politely catchy indie pop songs, make silly videos for their songs, and don't sound the least bit aggressive, even on their most rocking songs. Add deft songwriting and lyrical skills to their nice-guy vibes, and you've got an incredibly approachable collection of songs in their new album, We Will Never Be Discovered, released in September on Paper Gardens Records.

The album ranges from tender, downtempo ditties to piano pop, to exuberantly spastic rock. “The Tallest Man In The World,” is a power pop track about a very tall man, not the exceptionally talented Swedish folk-singer of a very similar name. Sounding like a tamer Ted Leo (but just as catchy), lead man Marc Cantone sings “But the grip of a giant/Is not the grip of a tyrant/He can open a fire hydrant/Dunk on Kobe Bryant.” With vocal help from Katie Costello, “Dum Dee Dum” is lodge-in-your-brain-all-week catchy, it gives Regina Spektor a run for her money in hooky piano pop. Title track “We Will Never Be Discovered” sees Cantone half singing half speaking over a booty-shaking rhythm section before dashing headlong into prog-funk territory with a breathy, twirling flute line and a rumble of sax. The album skips around stylistically, but Cantone ties it together with his playful, heartfelt, and ultimately emotive lyrics.