Little Kingdom

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Citay's second album is a guitar lover's paradise. Ezra Feinberg (Piano Magic) and Tim Green (Fucking Champs) play a wide variety of acoustic, electric, and synthesized guitars on Little Kingdom and create a lush, layered sound that rewards close listening or is perfect for letting wash over you like a stream of shimmering water. The record plays like a stoner version of a Fripp and Eno collaboration with the two guitarists trading licks and creating loads of trippy atmosphere. Maybe it's more like a post-grad version of the Allman Brothers. It's not all guitar noodling though; don't get that impression. Feinberg and Green prove to be adept at shifting dynamics, creating varying moods, and crafting an overall mood that's both utterly relaxed and somehow majestic at the same time. Sometimes they are content to just noodle away in intertwined loops of melody; sometimes the songs build to crescendos of noise as the guitars rise and rise. There are a couple songs that feature vocals (provided by Feinberg and the angelic voices of Tahlia Harbour and April Hayley) and near-traditional song structure. "On the Wings" is one of these and provides one of the highlights of the album. When it starts soaring into the stratosphere near the end, it's hard not to feel some kind of stirring in your soul. For the most part, though, talk of songs, sounds, and instrumentation almost feels like a distraction. Little Kingdom is more about mood and feel. If it didn't have the connotations it does, you could call the album inspirational mood music. The warmth and beauty that flows from the melodies and the cascading guitars serve as a tonic to frayed nerves. By the time Little Kingdom comes to a graceful, fuzzed-out close with the album's prettiest melody, on "Moonburn," you'll feel better. You can't ask for much more than that from music.

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