El Boy Die

The Black Hawk Ladies & Tambourins

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French-born, Montreal-recording El Boy Die -- who knows what his real name is -- resides far from the unchallenging dance-pop that chokes the charts. Classifications for his second LP include such previously indefinite idioms as "psych-folk" and "post-hippie folk," but that's not precise enough. There's a slow-moving claustrophobic movie attached to this lugubrious soundtrack: visualize some beset soul lost in long walks in spectacular but rugged or barren topography, as mournful trumpets get swallowed whole by sudden sheets of white noise guitar. It's like a heavy wave takes over a sea cliff on the closing, colossal "Pathway to Heaven." There are lots of freaky Sigur Rós-like held vowels sung in creepy co-ed harmonies; this also plays uninviting against churning acoustic guitars, tiny piano, flutes, percussion, and rain sound effects, for a Bloody Mary misty-morning hangover. Highly interesting.

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