Missy Roback

Just Like Breathing

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On her debut album, Just Like Breathing, San Francisco singer/songwriter Missy Roback weighs in with the kind of pensive, literate, sweetness that heretofore seemed the sole domain of Aimee Mann. Roback's is a layered, moody blend of folk-pop that steers wide of most predictable alt-singer/songwriter fare. "Sight Unseen" and "Take It Back" are a pair of ruminative beauties wrapped in escalating, atmospheric production, courtesy of Roback's husband, Steven Roback (formerly of '80s paisley underground heroes Rain Parade). And Roback's unobtrusively earnest vocals and songwriting are the perfect foil for her husband's production touches, which add enough of an ethereal quality to the proceedings without losing the songs in the haze. "Compass," meanwhile, is a drop-dead gorgeous number bolstered by an almost back-porch instrumental feel, with sweet electric guitar noodlings weaving in and out of acoustic guitar, and cello, with the drums dealt only glancing blows. This is a subtle and fragile album with a deceptively strong pulse. Players on Just Like Breathing include Steven Roback (keyboards, bass, and guitars), Tim Mooney (American Music Club) on drums, and Diana Senechal on cello.

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