Longacre

Longacre

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Every once in a while, an album comes along that gets under your skin, with a sound and atmosphere you just can't shake. Longacre's eponymous album definitely fits this bill, a set that weaves a spell from its opening notes. Longacre falls into a transcendent space between, like the feeling from a barely remembered dream, whose images are forgotten, but whose mood still lingers long after one's awakened. "Bad News" shimmers and shivers with that feeling, rustling in the darkness with its sense of foreboding, and tossing ominous shadows on the wall. Musically it brilliantly interweaves western Americana and progressive rock, while the equally inspired "Open" enfolds militant roots reggae into '70s rock with progressive overtones. Both songs are far removed from the dream pop that swirls around the yearning "Someone, Something" and the insistent "Blue to Bone," the latter barbecuing up a Western-flavored Soup Dragons' sound. Guitarist Michael De Boer's superb steel guitar and fabulous fingerpicking glosses much of the set with a Western tinge or an Americana tint. The former is best showcased on the haunting instrumental "D-Lude" and the more dramatic "4:59" which is beautifully counterpointed by Claire Chin's eloquent piano. "Perpetual Motion" and the sweeping "Riptide" showcase his country skills. That number is built on Damian Strigens' insistent percussion, "Target Market" on his rolling drums, and abetted by bassist Ken Hanson, his mesmerizing rhythms are the core of the band's sound. Chin's keyboards help build the wonderful atmospheres, but it's her evocative lyrics and exquisite delivery that weave the band's magic. As shimmering as the music is, sweet and smooth, soulful or tempered, winsome or forceful as the mood demands, Chin shines across this set. The music, meanwhile, beautifully complements the nuance of her lyrics, her themes revolving around in between times and places, longings for love and escape, of contentment found and lost. Her words and emotions resonate, enhanced by the music's sweep, and the wonderful warmth of the album's sound. A gorgeous set that just won't let go.

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