Sound Off

Dry River Yacht Club's Henri Bernard on St. Ranger, Tintype, and The Pübes

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St. Ranger are set to release a new EP, Life Coach, in February 2012. For more information visit them at their official website.

Up on the Sun: What did you think?

Henri Benard: It was a cool song. Really dig the album art work, too - that's phenomenal. Looks like it's somewhere in Northern Arizona. It's really beautiful.

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I want to go there, where ever it is.

The ambiance of the song kind of captures that cover, too. You know, I think it was a good tune. Most of it was awesome, [but] sometimes I feel like some of the vocals got lost, with the extra chorus effect on it, but that's not really the point of the conversation.

I see bands like Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear mentioned a lot in conjunction with these guys, and I hear that, but I did an interview with these guys and they all talked about how they were in math rock bands, these complex --

They are young too, these guys. 20,19.

They talked about being in bands like that, and I still hear it in the music. There's a rhythmic complexity, but not at the sacrifice of feel or flow; they still sound like honest-to-goodness "songs."

Exactly. I really liked, in getting into the math rock thing, I can totally hear those elements, especially listening to some of the percussion, you can really hear the [mimes drums] -- it's almost choppy, but it still flows. Sometimes when you're listening to the math rock thing -- I'm always impressed by math rock players-- but it doesn't flow the same way. This sounds cleaner than they have live --not that it's been a bad show, but this was a bigger step than some of the songs I've heard.

They are great live. There's five of them, and four of them are just constantly singing.

It was a nice piece of music. I'm not sure what "Tranquilo" means, I don't know if that's tranquility in Spanish, but it definitely exudes that feel - I'm closing my eyes and listening, and it's kind of wavy, kind of spacey, kind of ambient...then it goes into some heavy rock stuff...then it breaks down to this super minimal stuff. I like songs that go a few different places. It shows a lot of promise, they are doing good things, getting good gigs. They are definitely in the mix.

I like that they pop up on different bills: Crescent, Trunk Space, Long Wong's. They are playing with other bands and not stuck in a specific niche. There's something to be said for a band that can work in a variety of settings.

They're like a festival band. That reminds me of a day set at Coachella. It's not like the aggressive thumping of the nighttime, you know, it's like on of those daytime groovers, were you're like "Ahhh, yeah, I'm chilling on the lawn, enjoying myself, the music sounds beautiful." That's really what it comes down to, I think.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.