Tibi Lubin

I Don't See You as a Dead Girl

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Tibi Lubin's debut album was a throwback to the sort of subdued indie new wave records being made by groups like the Raincoats and the Marine Girls more than 20 years before it came out. Neither noisy nor too minimal (though more minimal than noisy); arty in its angular and sometimes funkish rhythms, primitively strummed and occasionally dissonant guitar and periodic embellishment with violin; and artless, untutored vocals that were longer on unassuming, conversational intimacy than stagey power. Singer Katie Stewart, who wrote all the material, has a slightly off-key voice that's not a match for the homespun charm of someone like early Tracey Thorn, however. Too, the songs, while moderately engaging in their unaffected stream of consciousness obtuseness -- when's the last time you were asked a question like "do you mind blanched refraction in your nightstand?" -- are too melodically matter of fact and similar to compel attention. There are interesting things that can be done with this general format, but the free-floating ideas were executed too dryly. There wasn't too much room for their development here, either, the entire disc lasting just under half an hour.

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