(2009, ShdwPly Records)
RIYL = Benoit Pioulard, The Microphones, Sparklehorse
Second Chants by Sore Eros is bedroom folk/pop at its best. Slightly muted and filled with layers of instrumentation and lo-fi studio trickery (the same kind that made The Microphones so essential), Second Chants is swirling with dusty strumming, plodding percussion and millions of spider webbed nooks and crannies within each enchanting track. Sore Eros has created something really great here. I initially wanted to write a full review of this album, but found myself too entranced when it was on to formulate any type of critical thought. Simply put, Second Chants is a super solid album of blissfully imaginative folk pop that deserves much more attention than it is presently receiving.
Sharon Van Etten
Because I Was In Love
(2009, Language of Stone)
RIYL = Marissa Nadler, Hem, Woelv
From the first note of Sharon Van Etten’s Because I Was In Love, Van Etten’s voice hits you like a cold mountain stream. Her pristine, angelic, somber vocals are absolutely gorgeous and totally refreshing. And that is pretty much the draw here. The majority of the album is propped up only by Van Etten’s perfect voice and her laconic guitar strums. Because I Was In Love is filled with beautiful, drowsy folk to cleanse your palette and transport you into the reflective solitude that surely inspired these gorgeous tracks.
(2009, Not Not Fun)
RIYL = Raccoo-oo-oon, Teeth Mountain, Excepter
Thank goodness Shawn Reed and Ryan Garbes are still killin’ it. After the bloated but still pretty freakin’ awesome swan song that was Raccoo-oo-oon’s final album last year, I figured that it was the end of a golden era. In a sense, that still holds true, Wet Hair is not Raccoo-oo-oon. However, Wet Hair does carry a good chunk of the Raccoo-oo-oon formula (this goes hand in hand with having former members of the band) along with a few additional twists, all of which equates to some fine tuned, space punk spelunking. Dream is the duo’s best release to date.