Various Artists

Parasol's Sweet Sixteen, Vol. 5

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As usual, Vol. 5 of Parasol's Sweet Sixteen features material from the label's umbrella of imprints, including Hidden Agenda, Spur, and Mud. It's heavy on tasteful chamber and indie pop, with strong material from Kevin Tihista's Red Terror, Club 8, Brendan Gamble, and Permer (aka Martin Permer of Waltz for Debbie -- his "Popgirl" is a pleasantly peppy electro-acoustic dance number in the vein of his regular gig). There's previously unreleased material from the Soundtrack of Our Lives and Seattle's Melody Unit, whose "Suite for Caesar" is one of the album's highlights. Other standouts include the dreamy, raucous psychedelia of Duraluxe's "All Together Now," as well as "Saturday Mansions," the first song on Doleful Lions' crazy beautiful 2002 LP Out Like a Lamb. Parasol's Sweet Sixteen, Vol. 5 is sure to appeal to longtime label followers, or indie pop fans looking for some new music via compilation tracks. All listeners should be prepared to smile, or perhaps take a relaxing nap, because in this Parasol universe, there isn't a power chord for miles.

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