Dec 5, 2006

The Nostalgic Smell of Ken Kopp's Produce Section

Hannah Starkey - Untitled (1997)

Sebastian Krueger, cultivator of The Inlets, was himself grown with the water and toils of Madison WI and though his music is now rooted densely in the concrete of Brooklyn NY, it still reeks of the blushing charm that a true Midwesterner never loses. Sebastian physically visits Madison often and his adult relationship with the city is self-admittedly a stack of observations from the eyes of his curious local childhood. When confronted about what ties the new EP “Vestibule” to Wisconsin, he responds coyly, “I wish I could directly link pieces of the album to Madison, but unfortunately very little rhymes with Michael's Frozen Custard”. But in an album built more on subtlety than rhyme, Sebastian’s musical choices are clearly driven from the depths of a familiar Midwestern subconscious where sparse instrumentation is always well-meaning and its perseverance self-effacing.

Vestibule leads with the subtle passion and sanguine plucks of a Sufjan-esque visualization of a forest sprung from a tree, via an orchestration sprung from the viola of Marla Hansen (another displaced Madisonian). Musical interest builds with an upturned woodwind and a brief twinkle to establish the album’s character, clearly clad in a classic grace only seen today under closed eyes and open thoughts of the faces behind your crackling grey photograph or weathered antique phonograph. The style slightly wanes, however, when the rising voices of “Roots on Sidewalks” are restrained from introducing a jazz hi-hat to tap the sidewalk with the beats of an explorative cane. After barreling through the stream of carefully taut writing, a slight breakdown is suggested near the end of “Sunfed Shapes” with a loosening of time that is surprisingly refreshing. The sound finally pulls itself together to produce my favourite album landmark and morbid complement, “You Are An Effigy”.

Sebastian manages to front sophisticated timidity without being apologetic for the Inlets’ retro-forward folk styling. And though he asserts that Vestibule is not necessarily more “Madisony” than “Brooklyny”, you can still dig up pieces of its inspiration in the small hidden prairie next to Randall School on Regent Street where Sebastian planted them in fourth grade.

The entire MP3 album is available for free download through luvsound! *

*The Inlets - Vestibule (zip)

The Inlets - You Are An Effigy (mp3)

The Inlets - Pictures of Trees (mp3)

My Brightest Diamond - Something of an End (mp3)

Awry - Brave Elephant (m3u)

6 comments

At Tuesday, December 05, 2006, Blogger Mike said...

Great album. Pictures of Trees is fantastic.

I agree with the Sufjanesque statement. There's plenty of room in that genre, though let's just hope it's not sucked dry by the time he gets to Wisconsin.

Sufjan's glorification of the Midwest - a great thing.

Anyway, this'll be the soundtrack to the rest of my week. Are the other groups on this label worth the time?

 
At Wednesday, December 06, 2006, Blogger mp said...

photograph is amazing. didnt read the post, but may fall along the same lines.

 
At Wednesday, December 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At Thursday, December 07, 2006, Blogger Kyle said...

Mike: Luvsound is hosting a bunch of free noise explorations that are right up your alley. And there is a clear Wisconsin connection.

MP: Your profile picture is swell. I bet your comment is too, but I didn't read it.

Anonymous: Wazzap. Try some Alprazolam to calm you down.

 
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