Just in case you were wondering if a band could make more than a single perfect album, look no further than mewithoutYou.
Very early in this project, I wrote about their 2004 release Catch For Us The Foxes, which I would argue is one of the top five Tooth & Nail releases ever.
Two years later, they did it again.
Brother, Sister is a deviation from its predecessor: far less aggressive, much more refined – I’d even go so far as to call it ‘careful’. So what it lacks in some of the more punchy, abrasive moments (“January 1979” or “Four Word Letter (Pt. Two)” – It had a lot to do with Aaron’s vocals), Brother, Sister makes up for it with moving orchestral moments. This is best evident on what may be the band’s best song from the entirety of their catalog, closer “In a Sweater Poorly Knit.”
Also evident of this desire to make a delicate but colorful score is the “Spider” trio: “Yellow,” “Orange” and “Brownish.” Each acts as a tiny interlude between sections of the album, short but powerful refrains.
There should be no reason you don’t listen through this album in its entirety. Catch For Us the Foxes, too. mewithoutYou are one of the most unique bands “left of the mainstream” that we’ll see in our generation. I truly and firmly believe that.
The fact that they were able to string together not one, but two albums that stand apart from the rest of the Tooth & Nail discography – and in doing so, became one of the most popular bands ever on the label – is a testament to Aaron Weiss’ innocuous but universal and earnest spirituality, inventive and experimental instrumentation, and a genuine belief in what they were doing.
That’s what it is. The grace and humility. The passionate dedication to both their music and the message behind it. And never letting trends sway what they set out to do.
There is not a single band like them.
Go. Enjoy it all.
In its entirety, this is mewithoutYou’s Brother, Sister –
Standout tracks: This is a perfect album.
Weakest track: See above.
RIYL: Anathallo, Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine, beards.