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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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+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
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+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ 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
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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The Clientele
The Lost Weekend EP

The Clientele's most recent release, The Lost Weekend EP, is a minimalist masterpiece, a somber musical nod in the direction of Galaxie 500 and Big Star, Love and Gram Parsons. The London trio also looks to the melancholy pop of Belle and Sebastian and even Burt Bacharach. All comparisons and influences aside, The Clientele's music possesses a soft, warm beauty that will keep you coming back to it.

Propelled by lush, breathy vocals, stunning imagery and simple, quiet arrangements, Lost Weekend paints the picture of coming down. The high is irrelevant. Could be a lost night holed up in a pub or the natural, sweet nectar of smitten escapades and stolen kisses.

Singer Alasdair Maclean is a storyteller, who on Lost Weekend is caught up reflecting on missed chances, broken friendships and prevarications of the heart. "Forget my face/ I won't be back/ I hear your friends have turned their backs/ When summer comes/ When rose street winds/ The longing makes you close your eyes," he sings on "Emptily Through Holloway." Maclean's vocals float as the instrumentation creates an elegant, woozy, heart-wrenching soundscape. The mood is bittersweet, achingly beautiful and delicate, recalling Dylan circa Blood on the Tracks.

The EP opens with "North School Drive." Give or take the audible word here and there, the song is composed of lyrics that have clearly been arranged for their syllabic breakdown. The result is an effortless flow that travels along a parallel plane with the subtle piano work of Mark Keen. When Maclean's voice drifts to deliver the line "The headlights on the driveway are a mirage," a dream sequence plays in your head — but before you slip away, the track shuffles to a close. For a band of lesser skill, this might come across as terse or halfhearted, but here it works. A certain feeling of dejection carries this track; it feels like a eulogy and possesses a breathtaking sense of finality.

On "Kelvin Parade," The Clientele shed their dream-pop sounds to produce an upbeat track riding on a bouncy, jubilant guitar line — a standout performance from guitarist Innes Phillips. Equally strong is the nimble playing of Keen, who jumps from the keys to behind the drum kit, where he proceeds to spin the crash in a seemingly endless pirouette.

The EP's closer is an instrumental, "Last Orders." Its somber piano suggests the image of last call in a South London bar, as the regulars finish their final drink of the night and the inebriated are left to figure out a way home.

Note: the EP is available as an import on the Spanish label Acuarela. Darla Records has a limited supply. There is also a 10" vinyl version out on the UK label Earworm.

by Robert Smith

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