Memphis: Here Comes a City


Here Comes a City
(Arts & Crafts)

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Memphis may be better known as the name of a city or a musical than a band, but Here Comes a City is an album that deserves to boost the duo’s credentials. Torquil Campbell, a notable member of Canadian acts Stars and Broken Social Scene, formed the group with his childhood friend Chris Dumont about a decade ago. Since then, the pair has only refined their sound, making atmospheric, mellow tunes that feel like spring.

There’s no shortage of beauty to be extracted from these tunes.  “I Want the Lights on After Dark” is worthy of any Broken Social Scene album, with a stamping beat, weaving guitar, and bass that throbs right through the eardrum. “Reservoir” is a sprawling work of art with distorted vocals spoken and conversation playing in the background. Snapping gives “Wait!” a quaint quality also loaning it a sockhop feel, and “m+e=me” sounds like it might be coming out of a gramophone rather than speakers.

Campbell’s no artistic slouch, and Dumont certainly holds his own. Memphis deserves to be just as well-known as the many other Canadians acts attached to Broken Social Scene, and I can only hope that this album is the one to help them break through.

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