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The second time today I’ve played something which I seem to already know. Are these records just so infectious or have I really heard these things before somehow, somewhere? This Samantha Crain record was produced by John Vanderslice who, as well as having a name you can really get your teeth around, has worked with Mountain Goats and Spoon and has now overseen something really rather impressive.
Its a kind of slightly dark country-ish acoustic music that more than anything recalls the wonderful Laura Veirs. The songs are immediately impressive and catchy, arranged with the usual plucking guitars and weary violins but nicely recorded with just an edge of lo-fi distorted mic-ing. It has a very live feel and not the sometimes scrubbed production that blands out such singer songwritery. It helps that she has a great voice, it stretches and yearns across the material, swooping up to the high notes and burying itself in the dark nuances of the bleaker bits of the material.
‘For The Miner’ has a lazy, drifty Neil Young vibe to proceedings, moving along on strummed guitars and carefully picked out lyrics. You can’t take your ear off it, especially when the ‘Straight Story’ type viola’s explode into view. Really worth checking out for fans of the aforementioned Laura Veirs, the other Laura (Gibson), Lucinda Williams Neko Case or the dark recesses of Songs Ohia or Magnolia Electric Company. Comes with bonus CD of outakes/demos.
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