Melancholy holiday

Downloadable Valentines from Mobius Band
By MATT ASHARE  |  February 19, 2008
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Mobius Band

Given their predilection for moody, textural, electro-organic soundscapes and songs that resonate with melancholy disillusionment, Mobius Band don’t seem the type to buy into a Hallmark holiday like Valentine’s Day. But as the once-Shutesbury-based trio were gearing up to leave their current home in Brooklyn for a European tour to support their new Heaven (Misra), they delivered a parting Valentine’s Day gift in the form of a free, downloadable EP of six cover tunes by everyone from Neil Young and Bob Dylan to Daft Punk and the National. Here’s are four of the tracks you can grab at www.mobiusband.com/home.php.

“Razor Love”
With its unwavering motoric beat and bed of mellow synth tones, this “Razor Love” is a far cry from the original on Neil Young’s Silver & Gold album. But Mobius Band spice up the mix with the occasional burst of slashing guitar and what sounds like glass breaking in the background, echoing lyrics like “Now all I’ve got for you is the kind of love that cuts clean through.”

“Baby We’ll Be Fine”
Mobius Band’s take on this broken love song by the National isn’t a huge departure from the mood or even the sound of the original. There’s a touch of twang in the guitar and some swing in the backbeat as the multi-tracked vocals coalesce around the song’s central mantra: “I’m so sorry for everything.” Ah, the romance . . .

“I’ll Keep It with Mine”
This is a radical reworking of a deep Dylan cut that first appeared on the Biograph box set. But it’s one of the EP’s bona fide love songs, in spite of the dark, edgy overtones created here by whining guitars and world-weary vocals intoning sweet sentiments like “Everybody will help you/Discover what you set out to find/But if I can save you any time/Come on, give it to me/I'll keep it with mine.”

“Digital Love”
Having taken Neil Young into the world of electronica, Mobius Band have a little fun turning this Daft Punk disco track into an upbeat acoustic-guitar-driven number. It may be the most fully organic tune the trio have ever recorded. And it works as straightforward folk pop with a well-placed guitar solo and some nice percussive embellishments.
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