There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
A stab in the dark: D.C. trio Giant Killer must be huge fans of moody pop quartet Seam. Mark Benjamin’s alternately seething and soothing vocals and the vacuum-cleaner distortion of his guitar on the band’s debut, Bluer Skies, both recall that of Seam frontman Sooyoung Park. Yet, like Park, Benjamin has the ability to express desire, distress, and depression in plain but insightful language set within a memorable melodic context. “The Lasso” and “Distance,” which respectively open and close the album, are intensely personal dissertations on troubled relationships and psychic strife, while “Why Would You” references suicide (“How could you follow my suicide?/I don’t feel well/And I won’t feel well tomorrow”); “Slow” begins with the flagellating lyrics “I make enough mistakes,”; and “Swingset” contains the line “I’m too sick and tired for the show.” Bluer Skies is a desolate listen, but it’s also morosely captivating. Available from Nordic Man Records, P.O. Box 53192, Washington, D.C. 20009-3192.