American Analog Set
Set Free
(Arts & Crafts)
If there is an established band that fits neatly into the Arts & Crafts family, it is American Analog Set. AmAn Set’s early albums featured sprawling, elegant ruminations on musical space and time, with a sound that has been perfectly described as the intersection of Yo La Tengo and Stereolab. Set Free is still more song-oriented, with moments of irresistible tune-hookery, but it also marks a return to the gentle openness of The Golden Band, where rhythmic and harmonic oscillations move along less defined paths. “First of Four,” “She’s Half” and “Immaculate Heart 1” are perfect examples of how this band can construct both a great groove and the near-absence of time. Set Free is not only great, it might be the record AmAnSet was striving to make all this time.
—Dave Hayden

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