As if we needed it, here’s more proof that every song by Ben Chasney et al was anticipated by an obscure 1970s folkie. Released in 1972 by Italian label IT Dischi, Dreaming With Alice was English expat Mark Fry’s first and only LP, and an original copy will cost you more than a new transmission. A washed-out, extremely fuzzy mixing job is the album’s most distinctive quality—the frayed sonic leaves each of Fry’s honeyed melodies sounding as timeless and well-worn as a cut from a scratchy old blues 78. In “The Witch”, the recording’s rugged quality makes the song’s hippy hand percussion and lysergic guitar all the trippier. Lyrics like “I will play my lute / If you will play your flute” could use a bit more nuance, but they’re easy to forgive once you learn that Fry recorded these songs as a teenager.
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