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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Remote Viewer
Let Your Heart Draw A Line
City Centre Offices

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


June 13, 2005
Let Your Heart Draw A Line betokens a welcome change in this indie-electronica outfit's catalogue: the digital studio sheen and crestfallen beat-programming is shown the door as Craig Tattersall and Andrew Johnson -with the aid of Empress songtress Nicola Hodgkinson - dwell in the gentle echo and effervesce ambience of the bedroom. The ensuing pieces are a breezy Technicolor stroll of rustling leaves of static, winsome melodies and shimmering, long-held analogue chords - undemanding, perhaps, but not without a certain quiet charm, or, indeed, a faint rasp of DIY attitude.

What most beguiles about this work is how the timid, hymnal voices, single-string guitar motifs, detuned pianos and cottony glitches read like bashful bedtime stories, hanging in one's memory with a super-eight film color haze. Though each piece retains a distinct environment, organic instruments and murky comet tails of electronics are blurred into chalky ether. Even the purring voices waft in this dewy fog, largely indecipherable like the sounds of a person singing you to sleep; they seem not of value for their content, but for the enriching presence they exude.

Listening to many of these pieces, namely "Take Your Lights With You" and "I'm Sad Feeling", with their warm sonar blips and sinuous low tones, one feels as though they had returned to the womb where fuzzy clouds of voices and tubular bells are heard drifting about outside. Opener "They're Closing Down The Shop" sets tap dancing undergrowth against swelling acoustic guitar chords and furtive keyboard motifs, as brass fanfare wavers and stutters before being replaced by a desolate beat, half muffled funeral drum, half mournful groan. Marking an abrupt change, the following track takes the familiar retreating echo and stabbing horn of dub and distorts its dim resonance still further, increasing the songs sense of elastic time and creeping paranoia. This piece, as well as the vocodered voice track entitled "It's So Funny How We Don't Talk Anymore", is mired only by the faint hues of house music that it harbors, which runs retrograde to the album's otherwise introverted condition.

Successive songs stumble along at a snail's pace, but even at their most minimal, this trio is still inventive. "Kindtransport", for instance, creates a sense of urgency and menace, buzzing the rhythm between speakers with ever more complex variations; its swaying melody slowly blossoms like the first buds of spring. Moods, too, are elusive, shifting with the onset of each new element. Such a characteristic enables the group to flee the bland redundancy of the majority of bedroom electronica projects and craft an effort that is so unassuming and honest that it's difficult to come away uncharmed.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer

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