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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
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+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
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+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
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44.1 kHz Archive

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The Lucksmiths
Where Were We?

The Lucksmiths have a knack of making every bit of the day seem like Sunday afternoon. Perhaps it's the lazy-chair contentedness evoked by their leisurely-paced insular moments, or the fact that their plucky acoustic pop can have a sunniness brighter than a Fauves color scheme. Maybe it's the mention of football scarves ("Goodness Gracious") and sleeping on the mattress on a sibling's floor ("Great Dividing Range"), or titles such as "T-shirt Weather" and "Welcome Home."

In any case, this compilation of assorted non-album recordings features a tidy set of pert-and-introspective melodies. While the Lucksmiths' overall sound has been beamingly upbeat (to the point it can seem rather unhealthy for anyone to sound this cheery), their mood has turned inward of late. So for someone who has traditionally viewed them as diplomats from the "Instant Remedy for Glumness" School of Pop, the contemplative direction has been a surprise.

When I saw the Lucksmiths support the Pernice Bros., the local band decided to ready us up for the moody Pernice combo by spotlighting the pensive, unhurried tunes in their own repertoire (instead of playing their trademark sprightly pop). They dubbed this their "toast and honey" set, and it seems an apt tag for such sleepy-paced melodies. In fact, the Lucksmiths seem to sum themselves up better than anyone else; at another show, they defined their tunes as "music to hold hands to" (which also happens to be the name of a song on their last album, Why Doesn't That Surprise Me).

The endearing and twee nature of their music is also reflected in their subject matter (the first song, with its lukewarm organ peals and gentle acoustic clashes, is titled "The Cassingle Revival") and their wordplay. There's "Friendless Summer," rounded out with tumbling bass, easeful guitars and that pop stock-in-trade, the innocuously chanted doo-doo-doo-doo. The demo for "Great Dividing Range" (the gussied-up, proper version is on the previous album) has vocalist Tali White intoning about the bookmark he's left in an atlas for a girlfriend and musing, in general, about the difficulty of distances; "Tmrw vs Y'day" has the line, "an afternoon in the country/ was all that I was after/ If I can't see you in the future/ then I'll see you in the pasture." It's a simple little charmer and, well, what else do you expect from a band who once named a song "Edward Sandwich Hand"?

by Lee Tran Lam

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