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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
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+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

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La Maison De Mon Rêve
Touch & Go

It may've been recorded — romantically — in "a tiny apartment in the 18th district of Paris," but the delightful (if deranged) debut disc for New Yorker sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady doesn't stir up scenes of autumnal Parisienne romance. Rather, CocoRosie's idiosyncratic post-millennial folk music evokes numerous New York City ghosts, their modernist spirituals stirring the spectres of strange folkies strewn through the recent pop-cultural past, their ad-hoc patchwork of warbled voices and incidental noises a sewn séance stitching together imagist images of different constituents of the sleepless city, from Karen Dalton in a folk café circa 1961, to Kath Bloom & Loren Mazzacane Connors in some dusty loft circa 1981, to Devendra Banhart bunkered down in a darkened basement circa 2001. All evocations as romantic as Gay Paris, of course, but only in their own way, the romance here being more baroque and bizarre than straight-out beautiful. Those beholding the wonders of CocoRosie need to be blessed with the right eye, the best ears to hear them being those tuned to the staticky frequencies broadcast on the musical fringe. At times, the Casady sisters seem to be comfortably dwelling amongst the Americkn outsider-folk vanguard currently creeping around the edges of the pop-cultural consciousness — not just distinct contemporaries of (and comparatives to) Banhart, but bearing vocal similarities to the other-squeaky voiced wanderers, from the medieval munchkins of Alva to the Barrett-headed bong-huffers of the Animal Collective. There are even certain musical similarities to the Tower Recordings in the way they distil the tuneful with the dissonant.

Yet, to place CocoRosie in a readymade musical context would be to do disservice to their idiosyncrasy. For an act most notable for their utter uniqueness, they're best viewed not as part of a greater movement, but as a strange little happening all of their own, their music a missive fired from deep within the depths of their own iconoclastic artistry. On La Maison de Mon Rêve, the girls wail away like tortured maidens, whilst picked acoustic guitar picks its way through a cottony field of ghostly groans and rattled chains, as if stirring up the tortured pasts of tortured spooks. Sensitive to such, their music reinvents old-timey spirituals with a vicious revisionist twist: irony infesting an almost-hip-hop-ish chipmunk-soul number filled with proclamations like "And all I want with my life/ Is to be a housewife" and "I'd wear your black eyes/ Bake you apple pies," their Haitian love songs and Tahitian rain songs filled with anti-missionary overtones, and their Christian folksong just coming out with "Jesus loves me/ But not my wife/ Not my nigger friends/ Or their nigger lives." And, as far as coming-outs go, it's hard to recall many musical debutantes of recent seasons making such an amazing impression.

by Anthony Carew

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