Pooka

Pooka

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On its self-titled 1993 debut, Pooka, this British duo sounds like something from another time, a cross between the Incredible String Band and early Joni Mitchell, perhaps. It was certainly an anachronistic effort for a major label -- Elektra in this case -- to release in the midst of the grunge-dominated alternative climate of the early '90s (Elektra was home to the ISB throughout the '60s). Granted, the lyrical concerns and high, somewhat wavery vocal harmonies of Sharon Lewis and Natasha Jones do have a little in common with the music Kristin Hersh (with whom they would tour) and Lois were making around the same time, but the approach is more whimsical and folksy. The addition of piano on "Bluebell," saxophone on "Nothing in Particular," and bodhran (an Irish goatskin drum) on "Rolling Stone" lends a dreamy exotica to the largely acoustic proceedings. Song titles such as "Breeze," which sounds just like its name, and "Sleepwalking" sum up the wistful, effervescent mood of this striking recording.

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