The Green

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Though this North Carolina duo's LP comes accurately billed as "ambient experimental pop" -- let's just say they nailed it -- the star rising up from that commercial/avant-garde duality, is Wendy Allen's singing. She's no secret in the Research Triangle, having worked with the Court and Spark, Tarnation's Paula Frazer, and others. With Scott Solter's electronic backgrounds, The Green is like Elizabeth Fraser's incredible 1998 single backed by Massive Attack, "Teardrop" -- or if Tracey Thorn collaborated with Peter Gabriel -- though it's a quieter rain of light drum-machine percussion, treated guitars, synths, and other pulses, soothing like the perpetual pouring of rice on a ping pong ball. Ambient art soundscapes with savory singing? No wonder David Bowie loves Boxharp (true).

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