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neumu
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 
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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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Royal City
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Little Heart's Ease
Rough Trade
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On last year's Alone at the Microphone, the second album for the Canadian combo Royal City, the outfit staged evocations of the grand old Canadian cowboy Neil Young. This time around, they've essentially invited Crosby, Stills, and Nash along; Little Heart's Ease chases grander sounds, swelling arrangements, and rousing choruses, with "My Body Is Numbered, She Will Come," and, particularly, "Ain't That the Way" all finding the fellows in this outfit hitting nasal harmonies in support of frontman Aaron Riches, who comes up with some richer melodies and nattier tunes to match this newfound predilection for golden-country sounds and multi-part refrains. Using their newfound larger profile (thanks, Rough Trade!) for good instead of evil, here Royal City rope in plenty of piano, percussion, pedal-steel, strings, Hammond, handclaps, horns, and even some black-heart'd banjo, those three aforementioned songs all going so far as to bang-a-gong in support of the cause (no, really). As the The-Band-esque band builds up arrangements a kid could "grand" with ease, Riches, too, seems to be setting his sights higher, as songsmith, his words and choruses more forthright, this developing development meaning he's also coming out of the Christian closet a little. Whilst there are lots of lyrical uses of the word "he" in which he's likely singing "He," it's on "Jerusalem" that Riches goes for the wall, the song finding the frontman at wail with the sentiments "With the drawing of this love/ Your body and your blood will be on my tongue." As well as "He," Riches isn't above using "ye," either, the proffered press-release-offering being that Riches is trying to author songs that make him sound like an Old Testament preacher. Although a more sensible suggestion might be that he's fallen under the sway of folksong and blues form like every other Harry Smith box-set buyer these days. Aside from Riches' rich language, there's not much traditionalism on the album, it being more concerned with stumbling in melancholy fashion through murmured countryish balladry. The closest the disc comes to folk balladeering is, probably, the Willy O-ish closer, "Take Me Down to Yonder River," where the songwriter uses images like "to scatter blood on your stone" and "the flesh of hate that sticks to me" to speak, to God, of a death he knows not, and of his fears of what that circumstance may bring.


by Anthony Carew




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