English guitarist Simon Tong (the Verve, Blur, the Good, the Bad & the Queen), Scottish singer/guitarist Gawain Erland Cooper, and Welsh drummer David Nock's second outing under the Erland and the Carnival banner was fittingly recorded in the belly of a ship moored on the river Thames. Like the trio’s eerie, 2010, eponymous debut, 2011's Nightingale feels like a relic that’s been spruced up, remixed, and then planted back in the earth for some future generation to stumble upon, crack open, and germinate a scene with. Like a modern-day danceable version of the Incredible String Band, the group takes traditional folk music and then filters it through the swirling psych rock of Piper at the Gates of Dawn-era Pink FLoyd, the electro-freak folk of Animal Collective, and the pastoral creep of bands Espers and Vetiver, resulting in a wild pastiche of digital trickery and oral tradition that channels the spirit of '70s progressive rock while staying true to pop-song brevity. While the 13 tracks that make up Nightingale may feel elusive on first listen, further spins, especially of the Nuggets-esque “So Tired in the Morning,” the twinkly “I Wish, I Wish,” and the epic and serpentine “Trees They Do Grow High,” reveal an explosive amount of ideas, almost all of which take root in the listeners brain long after the last few notes fade away.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger