Saturday, November 04, 2006


ALBUM: Half The Time
FILE UNDER: Indie / Americana / Reggaeton
INFO: Paul Schalda has a ghost's voice, an old haunted soul that shivers its way up through his mouth to share its cracked-glasses view of the world with those of us lucky enough to listen. New York's Pablo is the vehicle for that voice and the lives it's lived. Previously heard draped over the Pavement-influenced treble clang of outerborough indie rock heroes AWEK (see "NY: The Next Wave" on Kanine Records), Schalda's distinct and affecting vocals stand at the center of Pablo, drawing chills from the tight economy of his lyrics and conveying something deeper than most words usually get across anyway. It's smart music that connects at gut level, a rare treasure in a crowded space. Clipped stories prop themselves up against solitary acoustic guitar, or find a full body in the stellar and spare accompaniment provided by brother Will Schalda (ex-REALISTICS) and his varied keys, wife Maggie Schalda's harmonies, and the Strandberg Brothers' ample multi-instrumentation. The result is a sound singular enough to equally evoke Odetta and the Replacements, and one that's perked up the ears of KEXP's "John in the Morning" and landed the outfit support slots up and down the East Coast with Matt Pond PA, Earlimart, Brendan Benson, myself and more. On the heels of a well-received self-released EP, Pablo's first full-length recording is set to be released this May on Brooklyn's own 230 Records.
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