Wednesday, 19 September 2007


(Strange Attractors, 2007)

Harris Newman - acoustic & electric guitars, lapsteel guitar
Eric Craven - drums ("Thee Opera House Stomp")

01 Cavalcade of the Sightless
02 Anamnesis
03 Decorated
04 The Malarial Two-Step
05 Blues for Vilhelm
06 Golden Valleys as Seen From the East
07 Our Return to Black Wolf Mountain
08 Thee Opera House Stomp
09 I Need a Quarter to Call the Ambulance

"In contrast to the name of the album, Harris Newman opts for a somewhat stripped-down, almost minimalist approach to Decorated. Subtle and introspective, the first half of the album showcases Newman's brand of solo acoustic guitar. Mood and color take precedence, as Newman's fingerpicking weaves tonal spirals across each composition. Melodies bob and weave from alternate pacing, balanced between space and sound like strands of tinsel clinging to a tree. Marking a stylistic turning point in the album, "Blues for Vilhelm" is a humming incantation for lapsteel guitar, a minimalist sound pool rippling ever outwards. Following with the languid improvisation "Golden Valleys as Seen From the East", Newman stretches out and explores intoxicating themes, coaxing out melodies which quickly blossom and decay in slowly unfurling spools. Newman picks up the electric guitar with "Thee Opera House Stomp", and backed by the forward momentum of drummer Eric Craven, the song embarks from a country-blues riff headlong into serpentine trajectory reminiscent of the arty twang of Gastr del Sol."

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