My Son Bison has spent the last five years obsessively forging its own brand of experimental folk, influenced as much by the Beach Boys as by Ravel or the gauchos of Argentina. The result is Two Faces and a Vase, a debut record that follows songwriters Dane Galloway and Joel Gleiser through a sloppy gauntlet of growth and self-loathing as they wrestle to reconcile the realness of existential ennui with the ugly entitlement it breeds. Recorded entirely on acoustic instruments – twelve-string guitar, upright bass, prepared piano, mandolin, strings, harp, horns, and more – Two Faces and a Vase is My Son Bison’s most cohesive work to date, every song shining light on where they’ve been while loudly declaring where they’re going.
About Pick Up America
Pick Up America gets its name from an organization that sent a group of volunteers (including close friends of the band) on a voyage to walk across the country picking up garbage and engaging with communities to help. The song was written as the anthem for every bit of American splendor covered in garbage, the wasteland we will be wading through. The junk we will be pushing into one corner or another. The song opens with this:
"Only when we own every paper, every stone, will we find out what they are there for. Will we find out what we are here for. And if nothing we should find to learn from the things we've mind, they'll have taught us what they were there for. They'll have taught us what we are here for."
The song unfolds in three unique sections, making it a sort of long-form pop song (not unlike the works of prog rock bands like Yes or the epic writing of Sufjan Stevens). At its core, it is an art song covered in silver and grime for people with patience.
"'Pick Up America' starts out delicately–you almost get the feeling of walking on glass or like you’re a tiny Fievel mouse tip-toeing around listening to it–joined shortly by gorgeous, jazzy vocals. This is slightly off-base with their self-proclaimed experimental folk sound, but it is also quite different in comparison to some of their other music. Be that as it may, they manage to blend their folk sound in well with this piece."
-Meredith Schneider, June 22nd 2016