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- The Geometry of Thistles by Cranium Pie
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Cranium Pie? Doesn't sound like something you'd want in your mouth, does it? Thankfully, this pie is for the ears, and I'm aurally administering it to myself as I type. It comes in numbered screenprinted sleeves that look pretty classy too. These guys previously put something out on Fruits De Mer that goes for Fruits De Mer prices on eBay now, so here's a chance to check out their sounds without feeling like you've just bought a villa in Greece. It's the kind of pastoral dreamy psychedelia that you'd expect from something connected to that label, too, with drifty synths and fingerpicked acoustic guitars and, y'know, recorders and tambourines and stuff. It's a bit Syd Barrett-gone-Wicker Man in places, but always quite playful and relaxing. I didn't warm to it immediately but now I've given it a couple of listens their soothing melodiousness is starting to get under my skin a little. The synth tones have that Belbury Poly-esque library nostalgia feel and there's a good balance between vocal tracks and instrumentals. I think I like it best when they leave the vocals out because without them grounding everything you can really lose track of time as you get lost in the delicately unfolding sounds. On one of the tracks (I'd tell you its title but I'm struggling to figure out which side is which!) they go all psych-dubby to good effect, squeezing out some Hype Williams-meets-Sun Araw hazy vibes. That's my favourite one, but the whole record is very charming and there's rarely a misstep. Relaxing pastoral psychedelia to loosen your worry box.
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