Bishop Allen: The Broken String
2006 was a big year for Bishop Allen - The band recorded and self-released an EP every month of the year. Fifty-eight songs later, they completed one of the most ambitious recording projects in recent memory. Their 2003 debut, Charm School, was a hooky indie-pop gem, but Bishop Allen's EP material proves far more sophisticated and addictive. With the EPs, Bishop Allen's pop smarts sound timeless, escaping the indie-pop idiom and revealing a language informed by the Kinks, Dylan, and the Zombies. While it was in motion, the EP-a-month project was the toast of the blogosphere, but it wasn't just an online phenomenon; it garnered the band attention everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to NPR's Song of the Day. This adulation all happened without the benefit of a record label or publicist. Bishop Allen was truly DIY, recording and releasing their own records and booking their own tours. In early 2007 the band struck a partnership with Dead Oceans and the first fruit of this relationship is Bishop Allen's sophomore album, The Broken String. If Bishop Allen made a huge musical jump from the 2003 debut to the 2006 EPs, the band made a quantum leap on The Broken String. If Ed Sullivan were alive today, Bishop Allen's story-songs would be ripe for prime time. The Broken String is not just a great record by Bishop Allen standards. It is poised to be the pop soundtrack to the summer of 2007.