Christine Fellows

Paper Anniversary

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Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter Christine Fellows returns with Paper Anniversary, a remarkable change of pace from 2001's The Last One Standing. Where that album had been an intimate record built on Fellows' voice and piano, Paper Anniversary consists largely of Fellows' own tape loops and found-sound samples, which Fellows layers in ever-shifting combinations underneath her electronic and acoustic keyboards, accordion, and percussion. Cello, mandolin, vibes, violin -- and on the surreal, otherworldly "Instructions on How to Dissect a Ground Owl," even a glass harmonica and a Tuvan throat singer! -- complete the soundscapes, making Paper Anniversary a dense, nearly psychedelic record that strongly recalls Lisa Germano's art-folk hybrids from the '90s, Happiness and Geek the Girl, in its richly textured sound. However, Fellows' knack for comfortingly familiar folk-rock melodies roots the album in the AAA radio mainstream alongside Aimee Mann or Fiona Apple; in between the atmospheric instrumentals and interludes, proper songs like "Vertebrae" and "Double Takes" are among Fellows' strongest efforts.

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