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neumu
Monday, September 1, 2014 
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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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The Essex Green
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Cannibal Sea
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Too varied and smart to be merely retro, and with more than enough substance beneath its smoothness, Cannibal Sea, by the Essex Green, is a superlative example of left-field pop with folk roots. The third album from this Brooklyn-based trio, with a large number of contributing musicians, Cannibal Sea ought, in an ideal world, to put the Essex Green firmly on the map.

Centered on the voices of Jeff Baron, Sasha Bell and Christopher Ziter, the group's sound incorporates chugging guitars, swaths of vintage organ and great, stomping grooves, but most strongly evokes the breeziness and burnished shine of '60s folk-pop. Unafraid to pile on the layers when called for, they have come up with a very bold-sounding record, but one with a sense of wistfulness, even vulnerability, at its heart. With collaborative sound emphasized over band identification and the group-as-gang idea sidestepped in favor of a less constricting identity, the album reveals a broad stylistic span and a keen sense of character, with lots of idiosyncratic charm.

Cannibal Sea is startlingly immediate. The jaunty, descending melody and solid rhythm of "This Isn't Farm Life" kick things off, swiftly followed by the gorgeous vocal harmonies and taut-but-glossy riffing of "Don't Know Why (You Stay)." Rich and carefully crafted, the overall sound has just enough going on to smooth off the edges while retaining a measure of stridency to sharpen the sweetness. Of the three voices, Sasha Bell's stands out most vividly, with its contrasting combination of worldly appeal and almost naive wonder. This is particularly evident on the sweeping, pure pop of "Snakes in the Grass" and the gloriously low-key "Sin City," as affecting in its shy beauty as the more overtly arranged tracks heard elsewhere. The slick arrangements of "Rue De Lis" and "Penny & Jack," the Stereolab-style linear keyboard-led groove and harmony vocals of "Cardinal Points," and the sparsely arranged intimacy of "Rabbit" all show off the band's versatility.


by Tom Ridge




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