Blending genres, from the start

Linfinity's debut release has a folk alt-country sound with a nod to David Byrne.
Linfinity's debut release has a folk alt-country sound with a nod to David Byrne. (Bighassele.com)
Friday, December 10, 2010

You can't put a decade or a genre to "Martian's Bloom," the debut effort by New York band Linfinity. The album runs the gamut from Elvis to Glenn Campbell to Echo and the Bunnymen to Arcade Fire. But in a genre full of flocks, this is a good thing.

Different styles aside, though, what rises above is singer-songwriter's Dylan Von Wagner's powerful voice. It would be easy for the rest of the band to let his vocals dominate, but the diverse worldly musical styles are impossible to ignore. There's the Afropop "Holy Rain," the frenetic Stooges-esque "Choo Choo Train to Venice" and the classic country "Seesaw Love." There are heavy guitars, and there are Wurlitzers. The album sways with softer numbers, but most of the songs owe a debt to European and Latin beats. And when Von Wagner softens his consonants and lets his voice float above the band, it pairs well with Megan Berson's violin and Omer Shemesh's keys.

There's also no denying the influence of David Byrne, but a good part of the album sounds like folk alt-country. In fact, if Byrne pushed aside Margo Timmins to head the Cowboy Junkies, we'd have songs like "Tullamore Dew" and "Norm's Song."

Really, though, "Martian's Bloom" can't be categorized as any one style; it's timeless. And it's a testament to Von Wagner's songwriting that this range feels so effortless.

- Benjamin Opipari


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