Dear Nora

There Is No Home

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The career of Arizona-based indie pop act Dear Nora is starting to (perhaps unconsciously) resemble that of a British twee-pop mainstay, the Television Personalities. After a peppy indie pop debut produced by a mainstay of the California twee-pop scene (Amy Linton of Henry's Dress and the Aislers Set), Dear Nora has reduced itself to a core member (in this case, singer/songwriter Katy Davidson) who, with the occasional help of some adjunct members, has begun a series of records each more quirkily insular than the one before, and each featuring an increasingly dark and peculiar world view. Larded with minimalist instrumentals in a Durutti Column style as well as freaky experiments like the near atonal "What a Weird Cactus" and the aimless five-minute improvisation "Frank, The Witchdoctor," There is No Home occasionally bursts through the gathering gloom with two-minute bittersweet indie pop charmers like "Emily" and "The Flats of Irony." Overall, however, there's a disconcerting, audio-diary-like quality to There Is No Home that's very much akin to the uneasy listening of late-era Television Personalities: finally, the listener just starts to wonder how much of this is an act, and if Katy Davidson is, y'know, okay.

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