Scrapbook EP

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While all of Portastatic's releases are near-brilliant, and most fans would be tempted to start their collections with the LPs that followed Scrapbook, the fact remains that this EP is the sort of work that sets a blueprint for things to come. Its songs establish the sunny, elegant acoustics that marked Slow Note from a Sinking Ship, as well as the synthetic tones that dominated The Nature of Sap. As one would expect from Mac McCaughan, the record is fantastic in every respect; it may lack the polish of later releases, but there's a purity in the way it establishes Portastatic's aims that makes it more accessible than some other work. In addition to McCaughan's excellent songwriting, Scrapbook also features a well-arranged cover of Brian Eno's "St. Elmo's Fire" (an oft-reinterpreted track in indie circles), which features Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo on background vocals.

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