Wednesday, February 28, 2024 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ 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

44.1 kHz Archive

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Valley Of The Giants
Valley Of The Giants
Arts & Crafts

When your various members' musical day-jobs are playing in Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Do Make Say Think, the Shalabi Effect, and Broken Social Scene, what else are you going to do but make epic, improvised, atmospheric, soundtrackist rock-music in which a conjured concept of "environment" is the governing factor? Valley of the Giants center on a quintet of humans culled from that Québeçois community, the members first communing in a farmhouse somewhere, gradually piecing together the epic "pieces" that constitute the combo's debut disc. It's issued on Arts & Crafts, not Constellation, so here the ornate digi-pack is gloss, not rough, and the palette is brightly colored. Of course, that's just the jacket. Musically, there are all the delay-draped guitars and slow-burning violins that the scene can't seem to live without, and there're plenty of songs where things start quiet, get louder, and louder, then end up clamorous eight minutes later. There's a reference to a pop-cultural portent of society's decay — "West World," a song inspired by the conformist-paranoia flick of the same name — and there's plenty of liberal evocation of Old West landscapes, too. And, then, there's a song in which an old guy drones on in a field recording whilst the band play around his voice. That done-a-number number, "Whaling Tale," is possibly the best thing herein; with its narrator, an old-timey seaman, spinning a yarn about a rock penguin trying to avoid a swarm of feeding killer whales by scrambling about on whale carcasses being hauled onto a trawler in high Antarctic seas. It's a beautiful, beautifully sad story, and the song matches it wonderfully, the interplay between dialogue and music recalling the sounds of cinema, and not just the imagined film-scores of post-rockers. The only problem is that its icy Antarctic vista is at odds with the red-dirt-of-the-desert they kick up across the rest of the set.

by Anthony Carew

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