If it were possible to travel back in time, there are a number of items I would gift myself upon entering freshman year of high school: A wardrobe not based entirely upon band T-shirts and those awful chain-link silver ball necklaces found at Hot Topic, a better sense of self-awareness and Company of Thieves’ debut-full length, Ordinary Riches. Now, the semantics of this are obviously off base as per Ordinary Riches’ 2009 release date (and the whole time travel business), but the fact of the matter is that I believe in the power of lead vocalist Genevieve Schatz’s voice.
As one with an inexplicable aversion to any female vocalist for an embarrassingly long amount of time, Schatz’s voice is undeniably enchanting and truly could have been a factor in changing my opinion in the formidable time that is freshman year.
Needless to say, Ordinary Riches is a warm and pleasant debut from Chicago five-piece Company Of Thieves. Since its release in 2009, the album has received a number of accolades in the form of its presence on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart, as well as the use of single “Oscar Wilde” in the Dove “Go Fresh” TV marketing campaign to name a small few.
One of several standouts on the 12-track album, “Oscar Wilde” is the perfect choice for single, a bouncy number with an endlessly catchy chorus in its repetition of “We are all our own devil. We are all our own devil. And we make this world our hell.” At first listen, one would never imagine the pairing of jazzy-pop beats with the lyrical content’s bleaker message, but when it works, it works tremendously.
The success of Ordinary Riches, however, comes in its ability to layer poppier, hook-laden tracks like “Oscar Wilde” and the energetic “In Passing,” with more mellow, balled-esque numbers like closer “New Letters,” the longest track on an album in which all cuts push the three-minute mark. It takes a confident band to hype a nearly five-minute song as their single, but to their credit, Ordinary Riches never drags in length.
Having seen the act live in a more intimate setting, I feel confident in stating that it is only time before the band truly “blows up,” bringing a strong, rich sound to the little niche between pop and indie rock. Ordinary Riches is only the start.
- Company Of Thieves, based in Chicago, is Genevieve Schatz (vocals), Marc Walloch (guitar), Mike Ortiz (drums), Mike Miamone (keys/percussion) and Chris Faller (bass/percussion).
- Their album, Ordinary Riches, is available on iTunes for $7.99.
- Catch the band live when they play the House of Blues Chicago with OK Go and Summer Darling on October 10. Tickets are $18 ($20.50 day of).
“Oscar Wilde” official music video