At this late stage in the evolution of indie collectivism, sheer numbers are paying diminishing returns, and there's no point in asking how many instruments can be compressed into the sub-listenable particles of P2P MP3s (or how many sweaty kids can beat on shit on stage). But then comes Chicago's Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, whose self-titled 2007 album sports 50 different musicians (if you count hand clappers) and yet still sounds like a band making singles that will outlive the buzz cycles. It's the melodies, mostly, that hum along like Camera Obscura or the Magnetic Fields. But it's also Anglophilia tempered by country-folk sincerity and a sense of wonder, even when it sings about schizophrenic hospital stays, schizophrenic Christianity and schizophrenic sexuality. The band's medication is lush, artful pop, and their chemistry is deceptively sound and hopeful.
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