To Spirit Back the Mews: An Asthmatic Kitty Compil

Various Artists

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To Spirit Back the Mews: An Asthmatic Kitty Compil Review

by Johnny Loftus

To Spirit Back the Mews is a compilation surveying the Asthmatic Kitty roster, as well as related projects. Thirty-seven tracks and a budget price are incentives for any fan of skewed indie pop, which is probably the most apt description of this material. Roman Bolks' "Rebirth in Three Crude Parts" is acoustic psych pop linked to freaky loudspeaker loops; he also gets credit for the set's best song title, "My Father Fits Like a Dirty Shirt." "Guitar Guitar" is a pretty, Jolie Holland-esque number from Liz Janes, and Half-Handed Cloud appear every now and then with their brand of kooky bedroom electronica, which sounds dipped in Crunch Berries. Asthmatic Kitty is the sometime home of Sufjan Stevens, so there's material from him as well as his friends. These include former Marzuki bandmates Shannon Stephens ("More to Speak of") and Matthew Haseltine, whose "Christian Boltanski Takes Down His Christmas Tree" is a twittering acoustic instrumental indebted to avant folk. Overall it's a pretty solid comp, especially given the price. Fans of Asthmatic or its fellow travelers should find plenty to dig on here.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Jason Brouwer 00:40 Amazon
2 Half-Handed Cloud 01:43 Amazon
3 Roman Bolks 03:00 Amazon
4 Chatty Munchkin 00:11 Amazon
5 Sufjan Stevens 04:56 Amazon
6 Jason Brouwer 03:02 Amazon
7 Peter Mills 00:37 Amazon
8 Liz Janes 02:34 Amazon
Royal City 02:58 Amazon
10 Lowell Brams 00:51 Amazon
Lifestyles&Vistas 02:08 Amazon
12 Half-Handed Cloud 01:15 Amazon
13 Marzuki Stevens 00:31 Amazon
14 Shannon Stephens 03:34 Amazon
Radio Evangelist 00:20 Amazon
16 Con Los Dudes 03:37 Amazon
17 Sufjan Stevens 02:16 Amazon
Chatty Munchkin 00:27 Amazon
19 Roman Bolks 02:54 Amazon
20 Matthew Haseltine 02:34 Amazon
21 Liz Janes 03:48 Amazon
22 Marzuki Stevens 00:35 Amazon
23 Half-Handed Cloud 01:05 Amazon
24 Jason Brouwer 02:49 Amazon
25 Roman Bolks 02:50 Amazon
Therefore 02:12 Amazon
Chatty Munchkin 00:16 Amazon
28 Sufjan Stevens 02:33 Amazon
Lifestyles&Vistas 03:52 Amazon
30 Calcutronicasoris 01:06 Amazon
31 Half-Handed Cloud 02:35 Amazon
32 Birthday Cakes 04:10 Amazon
33 Marzuki Stevens 00:22 Amazon
34 Matthew Haseltine 03:10 Amazon
35 Sufjan Stevens 02:38 Amazon
36 Lowell Brams 01:49 Amazon
37 The Welcome Wagon 03:35 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick