You Can’t Win, Charlie Brown – “Over the Sun / Under the Water”
You Can’t Win, Charlie Brown not only wins my “favorite band name” award for the first two announcements (sorry Wheelchair Sports Camp), but they also have been a really interesting new discovery. I wasn’t entirely engaged at first listen, but their genre-hopping tendencies have yielded a really solid debut LP. The Portuguese band’s base sound is in the folk-rock realm. Think of them like a more pop-leaning version of The Decemberists at least in terms of instrumentation and general vibe. What really makes the band stand out for me is there is a consistently honest tone even if they aren’t blowing any minds sonically. The vocals aren’t anything amazing, but there is a rugged and soulful nature applied to each word. Even though their sound dips into all sorts of different genres throughout the record, it all comes together quite nice as a whole. Not to throw any wild claims out there, but I hear a ton of late-era Beatles in parts of their songs, which provides a nice comfort like a kind, new friend. I really like You Can’t Win Charlie Brown and they have the potential to be a SXSW highlight come March.