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New Problems

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K is Karla Schikele, best known as the bassist/vocalist for indie rockers Beekeeper and folk-poppers Ida. A 12-song expansion of her debut EP, Your Name and Mine, New Problems trods the same musical path as her two bands, with most songs featuring bandmates Dan Littleton, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Matthew Schikele in some form or another. Songs like "Reminder" and "Knoxville" recall the noisy dissonance of Beekeeper, but the gentle beauty of Schikele's voice works best on melancholy songs like "Not Here" and "Bad Day at Black Rock (Regular Girl)," whose minimal arrangements don't overwhelm her quite as much. At times the lo-fi folkiness gets a bit too Lisa Loeb (with whom Littleton and Mitchell once played) for some tastes, but fans of the coffeehouse tradition of Elliott Smith will certainly find something to enjoy here.

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