Wednesday 15 September 2021

Thee More Shallows - Mangled Observations (2002-2021)


Thee More Shallows (initially "Thee Shallows") are a San Francisco based band formed in 2001, consisting of songwriter Dee Kesler, Chavo Fraser, and Jason Gonzales. Their debut album, "A History of Sport Fishing", was released in 2002. It showcased classical influences as well as laying down the foundation of the groups mellow, textured sound. The album was released on Megalon Records and received very little promotion in the United States, while it was given a big push by Monotreme Records in the United Kingdom, and this led to the band becoming more popular in Europe than in their home country.

The band built their own studio in Oakland in order to set about recording the follow-up, but this was a task which would come to occupy them for the next two years as they painstakingly recorded each track to their own satisfaction. The final result of this lengthy process was "More Deep Cuts" which came out in 2004. The EP "Monkey vs. Shark" appeared in 2006, after which they signed to Anticon, issuing their third full-length, "Book of Bad Breaks" in the spring of 2007. This album, like their previous efforts, was met with a favorable critical response.

After a 14-year hiatus, frontman Dee emerged from the wilderness working under the Thee More Shallows moniker again with the help of some previous band members and some new musicians, releasing the album "Dad Jams" in 2021. Musically, it retains the adventurous, experimental edge of previous Thee More Shallows albums, but it is also rooted in a stronger pop sensibility, with plenty of bouncy, hooky melodies.

I first toyed with the idea of doing an anthology of Thee More Shallows about a year ago. They were a band I really enjoyed in the early/mid 2000's, and was rather disappointed that they more or less disappeared after the release of their 3rd album in 2007. The anthology was put on the back-burner after switching my attention to other compilations, and went in my "comps to make" folder. But, after recently discovering they were releasing a new album called "Dad Jams", I decided now would be the perfect time to complete this collection. I'm not that fond of the new album, but maybe it'll grow on me with time... I have included, though, two tracks I really like from the album, to accompany my favourite songs from those much earlier releases.

As usual info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you all enjoy this latest anthology!

  1. The 8th Ring of Hell (6:24)
  2. Fly Paper (3:41)
  3. Phineas Bogg (4:20)
  4. Freshman Thesis (5:00)
  5. Little Brave Friends (3:26)
  6. Night at the Knight School (3:15)
  7. The Perfect Map (8:01)
  8. Cloisterphobia (4:15)
  9. I Can't Get Next to You (4:41)
10. A History of Sport Fishing (6:55)
11. Cold Picture (4:09)
12. Proud Turkeys (5:53)
13. 2 AM (4:38)
14. Monkey vs Shark (4:45)
15. Ballad of Douglas Chin (3:52)
16. The White Mask (6:40)

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