If you were out browsing the bins at your local record store, and you stumbled upon the bearded visage adorning the Grizzly Owls’ release By Night On My Bed, you might imagine it to be another creaky, folk-flavored Americana nostalgia act. But though the Owls do owe a debt to Bakersfield country and their own familial dust bowl roots, thankfully, mercifully, you’d be wrong. The Grizzly Owls are a whole lot more iconoclastic than all that lack of jazz. Casio beats and tinkly piano trills share the landscape with spaghetti-western guitar and Jenny Andreotti’s heavily reverbed vocals on tracks like “What’s a Girl To Do?” and “Oh Good God, How I Want That Man”. Then there are songs like “Mother, Oh Mother”, bizarre minimalist pastiches of competing resonances, buzzes and blips that communicate familiar emotions and landscapes skewed at odd, interesting angles.
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