David Garland

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Singer/songwriter David Garland's first album established his penchant for the odd art rock song, often concerned with everyday objects and their unnoticed strangeness. So he'll write a passionate paean to I-beam girders or an observational song about clocks. But at his best he wanders into dreamy poetry as on "My Pony's Falling" or "Forest Fractures" (the latter featuring the wonderful accordionist Guy Klucevsek) where he creates small alternate worlds of surpassing empathy. Some of the tracks show traces of their mid-'80s heritage (those drum machine sounds that sounded so cool at the time) and others betray the influence of Laurie Anderson, but Garland, with his rich, conversational baritone, is essentially a singular voice. His affinities for hokey sci-fi ("On Planet X") and his fine use of musicians affiliated with the New York avant-garde of the time make for the sort of pieces one hears nowhere else. In fact, one can think of this album as a more listener-friendly version of John Zorn's Locus Solus and fans of that opus might well enjoy this one, as well as those fond of quirky rock bands like Brave Combo.

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