At last, their third LP. More of what lucky initiates have come to expect from these Nebraskan troubadors: modern poems enveloped in blanket-warm quilts of sound; simple tunes built enitrely from complex acoustic wizardry; music that is at turns soaring and introspective, and always gorgeous. Yet there is more this time than simple songs. The earnest, carefully orchestrated compositions that comprise this disc seem to chronicle a band trying to record lived experience itself -- the wonderfully messy stuff of daily life -- rather than mere lullabies. In other words, some might find this record more oblique and private than their past efforts. This is especially evident on the wonderfully nostalgiac "Kitchen Song," which sounds like it could be the band's own theme. Similar moments are strewn throughout the record; this is a disc of jagged richness, where droning strings and initimate dialogues frame sweeping raucous swells. Inevitably, one is bound to find her own favorite moment. Mine is the incredibly delicate momentum achieved on "Still Life," a narrative that for a few ephemeral phrases, quietly shouts a bittersweet triumph.
If this sounds at all interesting to you, fans of such acts as Lambchop, Oldham, Rex, GSYBE, et al -- it should. This is a band that has few peers when it comes to fabricating ringing musical statements that utterly captivate while they're being played, and endure for long after.