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From Leaf to Feather

Themes on an Imaginary Winter

(Milan; US: 29 Jan 2008; UK: Unavailable)

Comfy in Nausea

It’s hard to do atmospheric rock well: only ever so often do we have a genre deal-breaking artist like Brian Eno or Sigur Ros come along to switch things up a bit.  Often, most jazz-affected pop-lite instrumental groups simply run head-first into the problem that plagues the genre: crafting music that’s more boring than interesting. Los Angles’ From Leaf to Feather do little to distinguish themselves from the dozens of other slowcore lounge lizards that pepper the market so; in fact, the penultimate track off their debut (“Albeit”) comes off as nothing more than a simpler, lazier version of Panda Bear’s “Comfy in Nautica” that retains that song’s sound but none of its momentum. However, the Super Furry Animals-affected psych-rock instrumental “Sunshine Rock & Roll” is just about the closet that From Leaf to Feather ever get to writing a melody that you won’t forget 10 minutes after the song stops. But even though a few tracks manage to distinguish identities via obvious similarity to a well thought-of contemporary (“Forgiveness” could’ve easily been recorded by accordion-loving indie-troubadour Sea Wolf), the rest of the album feels like the musical equivalent to taking three Excedrin PM tablets. Have a good sleep, boys.


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Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on RevotTV's "Revolt Live!" as well as WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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