|Eden Without Eve||Seileen||5:24|
|Carnival of Blood||Seileen||4:40|
On the first Cotillon album, singer/songwriter Jordan Corso worked with JR White of Girls fame to craft a fairly lush version of what Jad Fair might sound like if backed by a super-competent band of indie rockers. Corso's plaintive, homespun vocals contrasted well with the expansive music, but at times it felt like an ill fit. The second Cotillon album, 2017's The Afternoons, presents a course correction that sees Corso working with producer Shane Butler and a smaller group of musicians. Gone are horns, layers of guitars, and any traces of slickness. Instead, Corso's winning vocals and tales of life are delivered in much scrappier fashion. The guitars are wiry and tough, the rhythm section is recorded live and lively, and the occasional synths drop in to make some noise. Like the first album, the songs are stories and Corso comes across as a lovable guy, with a little more romantic success this time. While most of the tracks lope along calmly in fine post-Pavement slacker style -- both fast like on "Secret" and slow and shambly as on "10 Dish Set" -- Corso mixes in a few changeups to keep it interesting. The vocoder-sung ballad "Promises 2" is a real curveball; the motorik groove of "SFO" is another one that gives the album an energy boost right when it needs it.
The snappy pop tune "Fang" is a tiny pop gem that's likely to be the mixtape pick of Beat Happening fans who are lucky enough to discover the record. It comes together really nicely in the end, with Corso sounding more at home in the stripped-down arrangements, and the album is a definite improvement over the band's debut.
This ultra-rare picture CD was limited to a mere 2,000 copies and attached commercially to 1995's To Bring You My Love. The nine-song EP features studio sessions and home recorded four-track offerings, all of which have been lovingly crafted and packaged for die-hard PJ Harvey fans.
As a composer, arranger, and performer, Robert Burger has worked with a variety of musicians, including Bill Frisell, Marianne Faithfull, Rufus Wainwright, and Laurie Anderson. This release of selections from his music for film includes tracks from the soundtracks to the films Diminished Capacity (2008, directed by Terry Kinney), and Timescapes: A Portrait of New York (2005, directed by Jake Barton and James Sanders), and a track to accompany Ladislaw Starewicz's The Cameraman's Revenge (1912).
The tracks are brief and aphoristic, most lasting only a minute or two, and they make their statement effectively and bow out before they've worn out their welcome. Burger's music is gently melodic, often rhythmically punchy, comfortable, and familiar sounding, with various folk traditions, jazz and light rock influences filtered through a freely classical sensibility.
He uses mostly a broad assortment of acoustic instruments (including piano, accordion, marimba, vibraphone, assorted percussion, violin, viola, ukulele, and harmonica), but some tracks include electric guitar and keyboards.
The music is notable for its variety and for its delicate, inventive orchestrations. Many tracks have a folk-like sound, but the variety of instruments he uses allows for richer and more varied textures than many conventional, small folk ensembles. Even though the tracks are widely diverse in tone, style, and instrumentation, certain themes return on various tracks, and the album is fully successful as an integrated listening experience. The sound is clean and resonant.