The Other Side of the World

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Just teenagers when they recorded their sole previous album, 1971's Everybody's Own, the members of Switzerland's Hand spent the next 40 years pursuing goals largely outside of music. In the intervening years, Everybody's Own grew in cult status as a forgotten psych-folk classic, and in 2013 original Hand founders Marc Osborne and Nick Zoullas reunited for a one-off concert backed by a group of teenage musicians at a high-school cafeteria in Hamden, Connecticut. Energized by the performance, Osborne and Zoullas quickly booked studio time and recorded a handful of songs Osborne had written in the time since releasing Everybody's Own. The result, 2014's The Other Side of the World, is an intimate, folk-inflected album that works nicely as Hand's long overdue sophomore effort. As Osborne eventually relocated to the United States, the music on The Other Side of the World is less psych-influenced and more rootsy, displaying Osborne's love of Americana-tinged pop. In that sense, the album fits well next to similar comeback works by other '70s folk luminaries including Nick Garrie's 2009 return to form, 49 Arlington Gardens, and Bill Fay's revelatory 2012 album, Life Is People. Tracks like "Down the Road," "I Don't Forget (So Soon)," and "St. Ives" are poignant yet hummably melodic recordings that, despite the members of Hand having grown up long ago, somehow retain all of their bright-eyed, youthful optimism.

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