Have A Look: The Pathways, 1997-2007
RE-UPPED BY OVERWHELMING POPULAR DEMAND! As a follow-up to that Winter Vacation post earlier this week, here’s a career-spanning (so far?) compilation of music from one of my favorite bands, The Pathways, in case you missed it a few years back. I liked this band so much that back in the summer of 1999, I weaseled my way into its ranks as bassist. Magical, innocent days, although the complex and often painful hazing rituals involved in joining the band are something I still can’t quite bring myself to talk about. But enough about me! This is about The Pathways.
The band has gone through various lineups over the years, but it’s always been centered around the songwriting of David Yourdon and Evan Kindley, a combo that started as a sweet/sour kinda thing, but as the years went by got a bit more complicated than that. Life, you know?
On some tracks you’ll hear the influence of The Go-Betweens, Pavement, Orange Juice, The Wedding Present and others, but what initially impressed me about The Pathways was that Kindley and Yourdon had found a singular sound of their own from the very beginning. They both have an knack for unusual hooks, clever lyrics and endlessly inventive arrangements. A big part of the sound, it should be noted, was Peter Shanel’s drumming on all but one of the band’s releases — he’s always playing cool, swinging and unpredictable stuff, and it was super-fun to follow along with him when I was fumbling around on bass. And we should mention the skills of bassist Leo Goldsmith and drummer Michael Dempsey as well! Good dudes! Maybe I should’ve called this comp Good Dudes.
Over 10 years or so, The Pathways put out four albums, plus an EP, and they were all excellent. Give this overview a listen. I think you — yeah, you! — will like it.