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Little Aida

Mad Country

(Second-Shimmy; US: 20 May 2007; UK: Available as import)

Since Little Aida released their debut full-length, Confessions, way back in 1996 not much has been heard from the Australian band. Apparently, both the group’s lead singer Tessa Rubinstein and her keyboard-playing sister Susannah went walkabout; Mad Country is the result. Mixed at Kramer’s new studio Noise in Florida and signed to his newly-renamed, independent label Second-Shimmy (which sees Shimmy-Disc back after a seven-year hiatus), the album contains songs that cast ripples of folk-melancholia over the sisters’ very own technicolor dreamtime. For instance, opener “Like It Was Before” and “Sleep Machine” conjure up images of a vast, yawning desertscape, respectively induced by the artful use of mellotron and slivers of flamencoesque surf-guitar, where Tessa’s seductive, ghostly whisper appears as though only a fleeting visitor, while on the lysergic-country number “Dream Pony”, her distorted vocals swim through a mystical swirl of sitar and electric blues guitar to bring forth the album’s standout cut. Beguiling stuff. It’s just a shame we had to wait so long.

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