College Grove
(Spinning Gold)
This is one of those left-field records. You stumble upon it and the abstracted landscape catches your eye. So you bring it home and man, the music! Think of the baritone of Neil Osborne (54.40) crossed with hints of David Gahan or Hidden Cameras’ Joel Gibb over some fine strands of chamber-pop. College Grove alights on happiness (“Astronaut,” “Unforgettably Young”) and dreaminess (“Ancient Lake”), shot through with darker threads (“The Weather”). Somehow, it never sounds overwrought, or overly romanticized, perhaps because of the unselfconscious arrangement and delivery. Fans of Ceti Alpha or the UK’s David Sylvian take note.
—Sean Flinn

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