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Rauelsson

Tiempo De EP & Pacifico EP

(Hush Records; US: 13 May 2008; UK: Available as import)

Portland, Oregon bard Rauelsson’s folk pop is gentle to the core: if there are any drums on these two EPs, they’re commandeered with brushes or tracked very low, and the only other element that’s capable of making a ruckus is the vibraphone, which, you know, really isn’t capable of that at all. Born Raúl Pastor Medall, Rauelsson is originally from Spain, and all of his recordings on Tiempo De and Pacifico are sung (and whispered) in his beautiful native language.


With spots of bright, trebly guitar strumming over his nimbly fingered acoustics, Rauelsson conjures the sound of early 1960s balladry on his Hush debut. His songs are usually much quieter than anything intended for popular radio, however. “Guantes De Lana” somewhat resembles the more straightforward folk segments of Juana Molina’s catalog—a mild ode to wool gloves, it’s as simple and as rewarding as the author intended. Double-tracked vocals don a bridge that might have been cribbed from a favorite Spanish lullaby, and Rauelsson’s words meet faint strings and chimes that were recorded to bring out no more than a handful of notes toward the end. “Guantes De Lana” exemplifies what Rauelsson does best in less than four minutes. Best of all, there’s 13 more tracks of this bare elegance over these EPs.

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Dominic Umile is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. His work has recently appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Chicago Reader, The Comics Journal, and more. Follow: @dominicumile | Email: dominic.umile@gmail.com | about.me/dominicumile


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