When It's Dark and It's Summer is P:ano's debut CD -- and a promising one. The Vancouver group consists of Nick Krgovich on songwriting, vocals, acoustic guitar, and keyboards (piano and Hammond organ mostly) and Larissa Loyva on vocals and trumpet. Bass, drums, strings, and accordion are provided by a revolving cast of musicians, including Beans' Ida Nilson and Stefan Udell. Although P:ano maintains ties with Beans' brand of post-rock, better points of reference can be found in Low and Orso. Krgovich's songs are soft-spoken, country-tinged, resolutely of the understated alternative kind. His voice will not bring you to tears, but it is suitably pleasant, especially when doubled by Loyva's. The opener, "All of November, Most of October," with its violin and cello, can give the impression that this will be another melancholia-drenched post-rock album (the song is very good, by the way). But "Tut Tut," "Worry," and "The Country Scene" display a delicate sense of humor (embedded in "Tut Tut" are lines from the Jackson Five's "I Want You Back"). Some studio tricks (like sudden organ tracks and weird guitars) are added just for show, but otherwise the album is well recorded in keeping with an intimate atmosphere. It may not be as memorable as one could hope for, but it sure provides an enjoyable listen. Recommended.
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