I saw The Places on accident one night. I was at a show to see a friend’s band. Then I left for a little while. Then I came back and sat down with said friend and started talking to him, but he simply pointed at the band, which I had, to this point, not noticed. While it might be easy to ignore the Places if you don’t notice their subtle approach, it becomes very difficult to notice anything else upon focusing on this shy band from Portland. And it might not always be readily apparent what Amy Annelle is whispering over muted guitar, but it hardly seems to matter. The occasional well articulated word or phrase is enough to make me smile momentarily. I’ve had a difficult time accepting bands and performers like this until recently. An early Low album made a very bad impression on me, and it took a 10 page argument by John Darnielle to convince me I should maybe try giving Low another chance. Which I did, and I ended up listening to that stupid album for a long time. Now I might just be easily won over by these bands that play really quietly and softly and mumble their vocals, but I’m not going to give up that easily. I refuse to give in on the whole “Oh, Mogwai’s so great. If you listen really close you can hear dogs barking and a 49ers game” argument until I actually hear a Mogwai album I like. I like the Places, for whatever that’s worth.
This is self-released on a CD-R with a “hugs & kisses” sticker on the cover in a limited edition of 25.