Woodbine

Woodbine

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Dirty Vegas guest vocalist Susan Dillane's band, Woodbine, updates trip-hop with late-night electronic folk songs that recall both Broadcast and Beth Orton. On the Birmingham, U.K., band's debut, guitarist (and original Cornershop member) Rob Healy lays down dreamy, spare guitar riffs that pay homage to the Velvet Underground, Galaxie 500, and Luna, while Graeme Swindon's bass and beats take the group into Stereolab's territory -- albeit Stereolab tipsy and confused at four in the morning. "Neskwik" finds Woodbine in a hazy half-rant of Cat Power wordplay cast against raw guitars. You get the idea that Woodbine could have been a punk band if the bandmembers didn't have such a gift for subtlety. "Been Where You Are" is so light that it seems to float out of the speakers, while calling to mind the moonlit shimmer of Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions or Mojave 3 without the sunshine. Thanks to mixing by Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux, the album keeps that atmosphere all the way through -- the mix is somehow distant and intimate at the same time, like listening to music as you drift off to sleep.

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