Growing Green

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Drowsy, one of the most aptly named artists in recent memory, delivers his full-length debut, Growing Green, one of the most aptly named albums in recent memory. At once spacy and rustic, Growing Green's delicate psych-folk proves that the Syd Barrett and Robert Wyatt comparisons are spot-on, although Drowsy, aka Mauri Haikenen, has an even gauzier, remoter vibe to his songwriting; he sets lyrics like "you are all whores and I hate you all" to luminous acoustic guitars on "Some Cursing" (which is also aptly named). Tracks like "Harmless" -- which was Drowsy's debut single way back in 2001 -- add to the album's highly evocative feel; with its reverb-drenched pianos and twisted fairy-tale lyrics, it sounds like it came from some faraway, possibly imaginary, place. Even earthier tracks like "Yellow Leaves & White Trees," "Careless Me," and "Growin Green" have a sweetly mysterious vibe lurking around their edges, a large part of which is due to the fact that Haikenen often sounds two to three times older than he actually is. The subtle electronic manipulations on "Cryosleep," "Bright Dawn"'s surprisingly loud electric guitars, and the gently whimsical sense of humor on "I Died of Death" and "Plim Plom Autumn Song" make Growing Green surprisingly eclectic within its generally pastoral sound. The album might be more about creating an overall atmosphere than specific songs, but Growing Green is so good at creating an enchanting, haunting mood that it should be listened to as an entire album, anyway.

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