On the local rock band's debut EP, Biglemoi slowly starts the process of telling us what it is.

biglemoi photo
Biglemoi

Biglemoi’s self-titled debut EP has so many roots that it almost sounds rootless. The group has two New Orleanians, a Spaniard, a Nicaraguan and—most exotically—a Mississippian. That makes the band sound like a contemporary New Orleans story, as does the music itself, which has no obvious ties to any of those places. One of the 21st Century stories is the erasure of distinctive local differences as the Internet makes it possible to be equally influenced by Radiohead, no matter where you live. 

Biglemoi fall into that category. Radiohead is one of their influences, but they also claim Broken Social Scene, Grizzly Bear, and Soda Stereo. I hear Stereolab in the deliberately constrained vocals, and Belle and Sebastian in their almost phobic avoidance of low frequencies, but none of those references are really good predictors of what the band sounds like, and as with much guitar rock, pull at the threads of influence and you can find evidence of bands that influenced the bands that influenced them. A conversation about influences might as well be a list of cool bands from the last 30 years, and because of that it, it doesn’t get us closer to who the band is beyond locating it on a musical continent.

Biglemoi’s attachment to guitars in 2015 borders on quaint, but the eclecticism in the songs prevents that from anchoring the band in bygone era. It could have existed 10 years ago, but the songs are still fresh. Certainly fresh enough. The guitars shimmer in the opening “Doppler,” folkily trace chords on “Good Manners,” and fall into conventional rhythm/lead roles for ominous “War Drugs.” On the closing “Wolves,” the picking borders on hippie-like until Jordan Prince and George Elizondo send up fat, distorted chords like signal flares that slowly decay.

… and none of that is obvious unless you pull at the songs. What you hear on Biglemoi is a collection of attractive, smartly composed songs that draw you in. Prince and Elizondo—both sing, both play guitar—invite you into the songs, singing gently but with assurance. There’s nothing tentative in the performances, and Biglemoi clearly believes in their songs. My circumnavigation into this review says that it’s hard to focus specifically on what the band is or what it’s about at this point beyond good singing and good playing, but Biglemoi's starting from a good place, and paying attention to see what comes next will be a pleasure.