Blind Pilot: 'Oviedo'
Blind Pilot is the musical project of Portland, Ore. natives Ryan Dobrowski and Israel Nebeker. The two recorded their debut album, 3 Rounds and a Sound, after completing a tour that took them from Vancouver all the way to San Francisco — by bike. Nebeker says the group now plays as a nine-piece collective, but you would never know it from listening to 3 Rounds. The group offers a minimalist folk sound built on Nebeker's simple acoustic guitar and Dobrowski's sparse drumming. It's perhaps an appropriate soundtrack to the duo's environmentally conscious touring style.
"When I wrote most of 3 Rounds and a Sound, I was listening to a whole lot of Neutral Milk Hotel and Joanna Newsom," Nebeker says. The influence is clear. While Blind Pilot might not be lo-fi enough to be considered acid-folk, sonically you can't help but notice nods to Jeff Mangum and company. The record's opening track, "Oviedo," features an accordion drone accompanying Nebeker's doubled vocals, but with orchestration that never takes away from the group's simple, singer-songwriter folk sound.
The group plans to set out on another bike tour in mid-August. The new tour will begin in Bellingham, Wash., with plans to traverse the whole west coast, including the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. "The whole point of the project at first was to tour our music by bicycle and trailer from Canada down the west coast to Mexico," Nebeker explains. "We only made it to San Francisco cause our bikes got ripped off there."
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