My favorite band right now is Bishop Allen. I first came across their music in Andrew Bujalski’s movies, which PJ and I saw earlier this summer during our mumblecore summer film festival. I really liked Justin Rice‘s music in Mutual Appreciation, so I bought Charm School (2003) and The Broken Strong (2007) from iTunes. Rice and Christian Rudder are the primary members of this New York-based band. Both are connected to Bujalski: just as Rice starred in Mutual Appreciation, Rudder co-starred in Bujalski’s Funny Ha Ha.

Since Charm School is the older of the two albums, I listened to it first. I instantly fell in love with this band’s quirky alt-pop sound. My favorite tracks off the album are “Things Are What You Make of Them,” “Quarter to Three,” and “Empire City.” Here’s a live version of “Things Are What You Make of Them:”

I loved the first album so much, that I was a little resistant to the second one. At first, I thought it was too sophisticated and that the band had lost its charm. But after listening to The Broken String more closely, I now love it as much as the first one.