The last album from this Portland outfit is an eclectic bit of work that rarely leaves one bored. Whether it is the drone-ful “The Dream Five” that ebbs and flows like a Ry Cooder instrumental. Meanwhile, the group, led by Katy Davidson, continues its experimentation on the frantic and hectic “Nora In Berlin” that brings to mind Yo La Tengo or Sonic Youth. When Davidson sings, as she does on “My Friend And I (For Gretchen)”, thoughts of Julie Doiron’s fragile pipes are instantly comparable while the first mainstream semblance of indie rock is the tender, catchy “Defeated And Lonely”. This soft, whispered delivery shines during the six-minute “Solo Wanderer”. Throughout it all, Dear Nora manages to create very solid ditties with the slightest of ease judging by the rather barren, lo-fi approach to the minute-long “I’m An Outcast” and the poppy “The Flats of Irony”. Some hippie-laced, spacey guitar work drives “(I Can’t Believe I Left) California” with great results.
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