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Widows, Luke Fischbeck’s new album as Lucky Dragons, starts with stringed instruments that almost make it seem like some sort of Americana album, except that they immediately sound weird: lighter than air, floating toward space. And it only gets spacier and more abstract from there. Widows flows more elegantly than previous Lucky Dragons releases—of jittery, visceral electronic cut-ups—like the expansive landscapes of the country which the album occasionally seems to evoke. Nature is part of the soundscape; the music almost seems to emulate its mystery and beauty, in both its expanse and actual sounds (like the bird noises that become free jazz in “V Pattern”). Lyrics are sung sometimes (“give it all away / give it all away”), or chanted. In concert, Fischbeck gives himself over to shamanistic, religious fits of ecstasy and prayer in front of his laptop. There’s plenty of “real” instruments here, and numerous friends singing and playing; together they’re creating some new age of new-age American music, strange and exciting.

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Dave Heaton has been writing about music on a regular basis since 1993, first for unofficial college-town newspapers and DIY fanzines and now mostly on the Internet. In 2000, the same year he started writing for PopMatters, he founded the online arts magazine ErasingClouds.com, still around but often in flux. He writes music reviews for the print magazine The Big Takeover. He is a music obsessive through and through. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.


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