Very Secretary

Best Possible Souvenir

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    8
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This mellow indie pop debut from Very Secretary is an extremely downbeat, minimal demonstration of vocalist/guitarist (and cover illustrator) David Johnson's many artistic abilities both in and out of the musical realm. The strikingly clean guitar work is the first thing most listeners will notice, as Johnson layers well-constructed chords and melodies into seven tracks of melancholy that move just enough to evade a sadcore label, but without any of the punk or rock leanings of emo -- something like a medicated version of Castor. The first of only two albums, Best Possible Souvenir lacks the dynamic edge of Very Secretary's superior follow-up, Standing in the Shade, but Johnson's expressive songwriting, guitar work, and especially his nuanced vocals (an acquired taste) make this debut an interesting underground find. Music fans who adore the dreamy side of Midwestern indie rock will admire this simple, elegant release.

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