Laid-back country folk, produced by Erik Woffard (Okkervil River / M. Ward / Bill Callahan). Recorded in analogue at a studio overlooking the Colorado River Valley, the overall effect is warm and very natural. Thor Harris of Swans provides some surprisingly gentle percussion, lending itself nicely to Aisha Burns's soaring violin.
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I remember the time I was into sad alt country.... I drove to Nottingham to see Smog. But I soon got bored of all the sadness and slowness and only one or two bands survived the cull. Pearls To Swine is probably the sort of record I'd have listened to in those years but I still probably would be put off by the shrieking falsetto that opens this record. It's like Frankie Valli singing along to Palace Brothers records. It's a shame everyone is trying to find a new voice these days and it's not enough to just sing nicely. When Torres drops the squeaking his voice is perfectly fine, I feel that it's yodelling quality is too affected and spoiling enjoyment a little on what is otherwise a lovely record.
If you forced me at gunpoint to find you an early highlight it would be 'Some Beast Will Find You By Name' with its swooping viola and appalachian feel. Torres voice at it's best is the sound of whistling through a wire traversing an open Nebraskan plain and occasionally is very effective. The musicianship here is lovely - the production minimal but warm with lovely guitar and strings tangling effectively but the two of them together isn't meshing on certain tracks. When Torres tries less to impress as on the superb Outlands' the atmospheres that are conjured up are beguiling - like dusk in terrifying countryside with something ever so strange just around the corner. The more minimal delivery here pays dividends, the space between words are making me cling on to what he does sing. Six tracks in, he's nailed it.
An album not without merits, the vocals take some getting used to but I see what he's trying to achieve with all this despite the shrieking.
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