The Trash Can Sinatras

Snow

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Four years missing -- and presumed dead by most who knew them -- Scotland's Trash Can Sinatras eke out a new single, having to go to the Far East to do it. Even more than the surprisingly gentle vibe of 1996's third LP, A Happy Pocket, "Snow" is a lithe little throbber, a beautiful gauze of still atmosphere and sighing, with Frank Reader's most sympathetic, romantic vocal ever. "Snow/Fills the fields we used to know/And the little park where we would go/Lies far below in the snow/Gone, it's all over and you're gone/But the memory lives on/Although our dream lies buried in the snow," he croons. I could give you the rest of the words, but they can't break your heart as badly as if you hear the bridge that follows, sung in the sort of pained sadness that's all about the humanity of having lost someone sacred. The piano swells, his voice breaks, and you might well cry -- this is what music can do to you (like the Smiths once did). The bass throbs, the guitars play like snow bunnies in the background, and rows of chimes glisten like icicles. Oh man, is this tender and pretty, an aural snow scene as serene as full of gorgeous aural sheen. The B-sides ("Leave Me Alone" and "Co-Stars") are nearly as enchanting, as guitars trill (nice slide part on the latter), an organ gambols, a piano plinks, and Reader taps into the most soulful dimensions of his pipes. This is well worth the difficulty to track down.