The Harvey Girls

I've Been Watching a Lot of Horror Movies Lately

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The Harvey Girls is the nom de musique of the Portland, OR-based husband-and-wife team of Melissa Rodenbeek and Hiram Lucke. They began as a bedroom recording project in their hometown of Lawrence, KS, but after moving to Portland, they began doing live performances, with Lucke providing the music on a guitar connected to a large assortment of effects pedals. Musically, they range far and wide with North African trance music and laid-back Brazilian tempos mixing with the expected indie rock influences. And while the music is quiet, it's also odd and mysterious, with the couple's vocal harmonies often mixed into the throbbing pulsations of the music, just another rhythmic element in the soundscape. You could call it ambient psychedelia without being too far off the mark. The album opens with the sound of trotting, whinnying horses leading up to the slide guitar work that opens "The Body Without Any Eyes," a bluesy ghost story with a cryptic, disjointed lyric. Flamenco guitar and handclaps weave through a dissonant wash of random horn lines on "Only Apparitions on the Lawn," to complement its puzzling lyric and even more mysterious vocals. "Monster" opens with the sounds of far-off moans and groans, but unfolds as a quiet straightforward rocker, full of a jittery energy that makes it more nervous that terrifying. The set closes with "Alpha Invasion on Delta Waves," a long quiet meditation full of ghostly drifting vocal effects delivered over a simple hypnotic keyboard figure that slowly morphs into a distorted rhythmic throb. The lyrics on I've Been Watching a Lot of Horror Movies Lately do have a taste of the macabre, when you can make them out, but the music is so affable and the vocals so beguiling that the album is more likely to inspire pleasant daydreams than wrenching nightmares.

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