onehand.jpgStickfigure Records

While many emerging artists strive to find their own unique and groundbreaking hook, there are some who simply know what sounds good to the ear. And like Asian food in Manhattan, music today is all about the fusion. This doesn’t suggest that any bands out there are mimics or fakes, but rather that the ever-expanding hyphenates that populate the streams of MySpace and the shelves at Virgin have a strong sense as to what comes next. In what I can only describe as emo-infused-electronic-trip-pop, “One Hand Loves the Other” has arrived (however quietly) on the scene with a firm sense of the sounds that drive our culture. With the spirit of The Postal Service, the yearning of Everything But the Girl, the rat-tat-tat of Rufus Wainwright and the bitter bite of Radiohead, this band is absolutely one to watch. There’s also a classical infusion in there as well, just for good measure. Regardless of the many ingredients that compose their sound, the result is evocative and addictive. There is great movement to these arrangements, and the tracks make you feel as if you are on a quest for something miraculous. The band includes Lou Rodriguez (vocals), Nancy Shim (piano/flute), Tracy Tzen (Cello) and Mikey Johnson (Electronics). For the most part, they are all contributing writers on each song, and where they have solid beats and bridges, the lyrics are a mysteriously surrealist counterpart to the score. In “Burden of Barnacles,” the lyrics (when not overpowered by the music) can be heard as “Glorified as if you were to save me / Flitter lids / Comatose / Innards of babies / Suddenly I find out / Inner seas are in drought.” To which I sort of cock my head to the side like a confused dog, and decide not to strain myself in an attempt to comprehend it all. The music is enough to make me go back and listen to the whole thing all over again.