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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
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ 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
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

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Love Life
Here Is Night, Brothers, Here The Birds Burn

The way Love Life can fashion something truthful, profound and utterly iconoclastic from sounds normally shrouded in the haunted couture of outright theatricality is one of the more impressive examples in the modern musical climate of substance winning out over style, of passion winning over wardrobe. But while they don't sport black eyeliner and back-combed hair, the Baltimore-based quartet does so many things that could be so easily — and wrongly — dismissed as Gothic. They erect a magnificent musical mausoleum in which they conduct a strange séance, the foursome forming a gathering who hope to encounter something "other" in each other, eliciting it by losing themselves in the communion of rock band. They seek nothing so servile as mere campy cerecloth to drape their craft in; instead, earnestly lost in lives drawn to the depths of dark, they seek, through their communion, to draw some great spirit from their funereal art-rock craft, wringing out the anguished cries of both personal and actual ghosts as they march onwards at a pace akin to a crawl. Playing with feverish levels of intensity, Love Life literally wring out emotions as their songs grind on, wound up on escalating levels of tension. The barometer for such unease is always vocalist Katrina Ford, whose guttural screams never seem less than anguished cries. Following up their excellent debut The Rose He Lied By, Love Life up their artistic ante on Here Is Night, Brothers, Here the Birds Burn. From the moment Ford repeats the mantra "sadness, it comes, I can't let go" in that strangulated wail of hers on opener "Listen Loudly," this is one slow descent into an ill-lit night, celebrating this conceptual and tonal darkness with such grave affection for the grotesque that it downright borders on perverse. But, that Love Life manage to pull something profound out of the fire speaks volumes, rescuing a record from its own funereal ashes by fashioning a craft based on a rawness that hits, on an entirely emotional level, the kind of alchemy usually spoken of in volumes of forgotten lore from long-dead days of yore.

by Anthony Carew

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