Gentlemen and Gentlewomen of the Vox Chaotica council! How about eclectic? It's probably the best term for describing my musical tastes. I mean, you haven't really gotten a taste of it yet—Keaton Henson's soft English folk isn't too far away from Right Away, Great Captain!'s concept album saga (one of my favourite phrases) is just a Southern folksy telling of a 17th Century sailor and his troubles. So let's break into some new territory!
As with the majority of my experience of discovering amazing music, skate culture was the catalyst. Lemme take a minute to explain: I was super into skateboarding when I was a wee teen. So much so that I bought Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 immediately when it came out, and was SO STOKED when I heard Tony Hawk's Underground (THUG) was going to be a real thing. So I dedicated my life to THUG—or rather, my free time because that ridiculous mandatory school thing—and the music in there took my view of what music was and blasted it open. Alkaline Trio, Bad Religion, Fat Lip, Busdriver, NOFX, and a whole slew of other artists.
Anyway, I also exclusively wore Quicksilver jeans while I lived my skaterat life (I was not even close to ever being a skate rat. I suck at flatland, and I never had a reliable place to do vert stuff. And honestly, even my ollies were awful. I'm okay at dancing on longboards, but that's about it). And so our story begins at a Quicksilver shop where I needed to get another pair of pants. [Editor's Note: Cutter need a new pair of jeans like every six weeks to six months because I would inevitably fall off my skateboard and rip gigantic holes in my jeans. Lordy the scars I have from eating it on the sidewalk...]
There was a really interesting song on the in-store radio describing a pastry-related animal-centric allegory. There was this crow that was super proud of himself, and a fox who just wanted some food, and this unfortunate baker whose cookies, cakes, biscuits, and other assorted treats kept being stolen. The lyrics were amazingly crafted to not only tell the story, but also sound just like the singer was casually telling this story. I asked Dr. Know what the song was, and the good Doc told me it was called The Fox, the Crow and the Cookie by this band mewithoutYou.
So I went home and found this amazing song was on an album called It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright. At the time, I only bought the first two songs off the album because I liked those best—but I took a short listen to the song from Catch For Us the Foxes, and ooooooOOOoOoooOOoOOoooOooooOOoOoOoooOOoooh did I enjoy that. The guitars were using all sorts of effects, there were punk undertones (we'll get back to this in a minute with [A-->B] Life) in the singing and structures, and most importantly, the lyrics were amazing. Maybe not as reach-into-my-soul-and-tell-me-what-I'm-feeling as Interpol's were (as, admittedly, Paul Banks' lyrics are lofty and often indecipherable—but I still love them), but the insane flow of poetry this guy shout-sings gives the ocean s run for its money in terms of depth and expansiveness.
About the punk undertones: mewithoutYou started as a punk band (seriously, go check out [A-->B] Life right now, my blog post isn't as important as you hearing this album). Glad you came back! Anyway, so they're this weird hybrid of Alternative Rock, Punk, Folk, and Religious. Now, that throws a lot of people off—they aren't in-your face about God and "His Love" and "Join our religion because otherwise God will kill you in a thousand horrible ways," and they aren't strictly Christian. They incorporate a number of Islamic, Jewish and even a few Eastern philosophical concepts are explored through their music. They describe themselves much more eloquently than I can on their About page.
And then, of course, there's the album art.
tl;dr Cutter really enjoys mewithoutYou, talks about what makes them amazing, and gives you more about his life story than you probably wanted to hear. Luckily no nudity or anything.