Calliope

Sounds Like Circles Feel

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Bachelor pad folk? Hippie shoegaze? Whatever you call it, on their most accomplished album -- Sounds Like Circles Feel -- Michigan's Calliope deftly combine the retro-futurism of Tortoise and Stereolab with '60s folk psychedelia riding waves of warm sound into a jazzy pop wonderland. "Sunny08" conjures images of Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips doing Laurel Canyon country-rock. "Midwest Life" is a groovy, indie-update of the Free Design that finds Andy Dryer gently crooning, "there's only so many weekends left in our lives." And even on the less stand-out tracks ("Monsters in Here," "It's Later Than I Thought"), the band still manages to create a perfect, hazy ambience that's like a fantasy meeting of Kevin Shields and Burt Bacharach.

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