What to Do Tonight: Band of Horses

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Band of Horses want to know if you want to come back to their cave for meat or something.
  • Band of Horses want to know if you want to come back to their cave for meat or something.

Not too long ago Creighton Barrett took his mother to see Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight series. A theater full of screaming Team Edward/Jacob fans probably isn’t where you’d expect to see a 32-year-old rock dude. But the Band of Horses drummer had something special to share with his mom: one of his band’s songs is on the movie’s soundtrack.

But most of the time, Barrett says, he cringes when he hears his music. It’s not that he isn’t proud of what his band is doing; it’s just that he’d rather be listening to Kid Cudi, Gayngs’ bedroom R&B, or some kind of Turkish psychedelic rock — all of which are the furthest thing from Band of Horses’ sweet, sprawling ballads and colorful Americana indie rock.

Barrett joined Band of Horses shortly after frontman Ben Bridwell encouraged his old friend to move to Seattle. Barrett and Bridwell met as teens in South Carolina but moved to Washington in the early part of the millennium because of the city’s fruitful music scene. While Bridwell was playing with Carissa’s Wierd, Barrett spent his time drumming for punk, metal, and math-rock bands.

In 2004, Bridwell formed Horses (the “Band of” part came a little later), and Barrett had to relearn how to play this new music. “[It was difficult] coming from the background I’m used to, which is like retarded, whatever-you-want [drumming],” says Barrett. “Just being able to smash things behind the kit is a lot easier for me than being the anchor and really locking down on it and being the guy who’s driving the bus.”

An anchor is exactly what Band of Horses’ songs need. The title track to their third and latest album, Infinite Arms, sounds like rushing waves crashing into the shore before they gently recede. The tug and pull comes from Bridwell’s sweet-as-honey vocals and Tyler Ramsey’s gooey guitar droplets. Creighton ties these airy melodies together with slight and subtle cymbal crashes.

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