Tom Comerford

Archive & Spiral

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After three albums leading Chicago outfit Kaspar Hauser, singer/songwriter/filmmaker Thomas Comerford steps out with a solo album that takes a lighter, soulful look at his erstwhile Americana leanings. Elements of Neil Young, Jeff Tweedy, and Will Oldham are on offer on the temperate Archive & Spiral especially on the near-silent, brush-drummed, hushed piano- or organ-augmented, barely-picked-at gentleness of tunes such as "Drinkingsong" and "Gravity." But his voice is his own, more Gordon Lightfoot robust than Neil Young whine. And when he covers "Sunday Morning" off the Velvet Underground's 1967 debut, it's as playful as Lou Reed's little-boy vocal and John Cale's chiming celesta -- but more country-folk, like the rest of this dreamy, becalming LP.