Like Radiohead without the inflated sense of self-importance or Built To Spill without the obtrusive Neil Young fixation, Absinthe Blind make big, spacious music in which texture is at least as important as hooks, and feeling takes precedence over literal meaning. Their fourth album, The Everyday Separation, is less immediately accessible than its immediate predecessor, 2000's shoegazery Music For Security, but after a couple of listens, the album's charms reveal themselves in full.
Retreating from the gauzy haze of tremolo and effects pedals draped over Music For Security, the songs on The Everyday Separation show a greater sense of dynamics (the way "The Two Leading In" alternates an almost ambient, piano-based A section and a noisily guitar-overdriven B section without sounding like two different songs jammed together is impressive) and a more mature arrangement style with a greater understanding of the uses of silence and space. Siblings Adam and Erin Fein (a third Fein, Seth, mans the drum kit) share the vocals about equally, with Erin's dreamily abstracted air blending nicely with Adam's more worldly tone. The opening "The Gentlemen's C," with its terrific Chet Baker on acid trumpet solo at the end, and the gorgeously atmospheric "Daydream Set," which sounds oddly like a cross between Steely Dan and Coldplay, are the standouts, but all of The Everyday Separation has a quietly intense, dramatic appeal without ever slipping into pretension.