Chuzzlewit

Map of Maybes: Selected Recordings 1995-1998

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Like a flower that a blooms in the darkness, Greg Prickman's Chuzzlewit project seems to thrive out of the limelight -- compiling highlights from a series of hopelessly obscure self-released cassettes, the lovingly packaged A Map of Maybes is itself available in an edition of 500 copies, which somehow seems perfectly appropriate for music so effective in essaying the isolation and solitude of its creator that listening feels uncomfortably akin to eavesdropping. Recording to two- and four-track, Prickman couches his warm, world-weary voice in little more than droning guitars and rudimentary rhythm tracks -- closer in sound and spirit to cynical romantics like East River Pipe than ironic miserablists like Lou Barlow, songs like "Is There a City Outside Your Window?" and "I Became Glass" are hauntingly intimate, made all the more moving for their stark simplicity.

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