To put it simply, An Horse’s performances are heartfelt. They are intimate experiences with a zealous edge. Critics like Spin have described An Horse’s style and lyrics as “relationships post-mortem, rehashing a split over fuzzed out riffs, hummable hooks, and snarling beats.”
Since An Horse’s beginnings in 2007, the up-and-coming duo of Kate Cooper and Damon Cox have taken the fast track to success. What started out in the basement of a record store in Brisbane, Australia has quickly turned into an international tour.
“Opportunities just presented themselves. Better to be playing than sitting at home,” Cooper said.
They have been able to gain momentum with the help of the group Tegan and Sara, who, after hearing a few songs from the EP, invited them on their 2008 tour and provided the much needed opportunity that set An Horse’s international success in motion. But it didn’t stop there: An Horse also got the opportunity to open for Death Cab for Cutie during their Australian tour. After the success of their EP Not Really Scared in 2008 and touring alongside music industry veterans, they decided to compile their songs into a full-length album.
“It wasn’t meant to be an album — more of a period of time that was shitty, and that’s pretty much it. Sad times,” Cooper said when asked about the inspiration for the album. Even if it was unintentional, the album has an overarching tone that unites the songs together.
Focusing on love and love lost, Cooper and Cox are able to make that essential connection to their audience through their lyrics and distinctive sound.
While the lyrics are personal and relatable, Cooper notes that sometimes the lyrics are too personal. Songs like “Shoes Watch,”"Little Lungs” and “Company” are suggestive of that distressing sentiment. “Horizons,” on the other hand, is quite hopeful and gives the album a much needed positive lift. The lyrics of each song are unique, however — after listening to a few songs the melodies begin to blend together and sound quite similar. The simplicity of the guitar and drum combinations do not make the tracks stand out from each other.
Even though An Horse could be labeled as nothing more than an average indie pop group, the duo brings that extra something to their performances and has found inspiration through the success of others.
“Music was always really important. My earliest memories of music are of holding a Michael Jackson record and going to a Rolling Stones concert with my dad in high school and thinking I want to do that,” Cooper said.
Among their musical influences also are Tegan and Sara, who gave them advice on their music while on touring on the road.
For those who have managed to get their hands on tickets to tonight’s concert, expect to hear songs from their full-length album. While they are continually developing their song repertoire, all of the songs from their EP, including “Postcards” and “Camp Out,” can again be found on their new album.
And for potential fans, Rearrange Beds has been available on iTunes since late 2008 but will be released in stores March 17, 2009.
An Horse will play the High Noon Saloon tonight at 8 p.m. with openers Whatfor and Pezzettino. Tickets are $8 and are available through Brown Paper Tickets and High Noon Saloon.