Steal This Track from Man Can DoBy Josh Johnson | April 9th, 2014 | 4 comments
Get a hot dose of quirk from Man Can Do, a trio formed from the ashes of ’90s indie pop band the Ant Farmers, and download “Lumberjacks” off the band’s debut release.
Forming in the late ’80s in Albuquerque, the indie-pop outfit the Ant Farmers rode the waves of a creative resurgence in music through the ’90s, working with fellow ABQ resident James Mercer, pre-The Shins, and sharing the stage with alt-rock luminaries like Yo La Tengo and Meat Puppets. But when one-third of the Ant Farmers relocated to Denver, the band called it quits.
Now, some 15 years later, the creative forces behind the Ant Farmers have reunited as Man Can Do, still a trio that adeptly finds the sweet spot between quirky and catchy. Last month, Man Can Do, which writes by passing Garage Band files between Denver and Albuquerque, quietly released its eponymous debut LP. And like an alcoholic who quits drinking, only to find with a first sip decades later that the disease has secretly progressed, Man Can Do is making arguably better music than when they quit the ant farm over a decade ago.
On “Man Can Do,”the album, the band takes a laid-back approach to folk-indused indie-pop. The lyrics are at times bizarre and delivered casually — “Measly” covers the embarrassment of pulling a too-heavy suitcase — and the arrangements showcase a disregard for the norm, but despite all the quirk the listener is not left out. This is toe-tapping music that will leave you humming a melody. Added bonus: The album features a track recorded by Brett Sparks of the Handsome Family, whose brother was once a member of the Ant Farmers.
Man Can Do will make its official live debut with a tour kick-off show during the 2014 UMS. But for now, they’ve left “Lumberjacks” lying around. Go ahead, steal it below. Then, check out the just-released video for “Myna bird,” shot in India.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration.
Josh Johnson is a Denver freelance writer and Reverb contributor. He’s also a journeyman butcher. Seriously.