Destroyer of the Void (Bonus Track Version)

Destroyer of the Void (Bonus Track Version)

This Portland sextet always manages to hoist their own original tones above their musical reference points — Crosby, Stills and Nash, Queen in the '70s — and they do it here with tastefully tucked analogue synths and a sideways approach to the guitar that could only come from '90s indie-rock and noise-pop. Though frontman Eric Early unapologetically wears longhaired ‘70s sun-flared California folk-rock influences on his sleeve (12-string guitars and cascading harmonies abound), many of these songs reveal a different approach to songwriting. “The Man Who Would Speak True” updates the murder ballad with subtle sonic drones pulsing underneath his Dylan-affected nasal inflections. “The Tree (featuring Alela Diane) is a sweet little duet inspired by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’ vocal relationship, but Early and Diane blend a more fanciful baroque-pop inspired approach into this dusty desert hymn. Bonus track “Sadie” boasts almost four minutes of West Coast piano pop that marries Dennis Wilson’s melancholic beauty with hay-fever vocals akin to Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan.

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