Ellis Island Sound: The Good Seed (Peacefrog)

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Ellis Island Sound: Count the Cars
Ellis Island Sound: The Good Seed (Peacefrog)

At last! I received a preview copy of this wonderful instrumental album almost six months ago and have been waiting ever since to post it. And in that time I kept changing my mind about which track to post: in the end I have just stabbed my finger at the list and gone with that one.

"S'all good", as the hip-hop kids say.

This UK duo -- Pete Astor and Davis Sheppard -- are deft sonic experimentalists and use an array of acoustic instruments to create music which is lightly pastoral, a little bit rustic, resolutely analogue, hints at the sounds of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra (without quite the forced quirkiness) and the Incredible String Band, and comes off as full of low-key charm without trying to be winsome.

In one way it is referenced in English folk music, but it is also something else: it is like the soundtrack to an imagined film set in autumnal pastures, like a long clear night wrapped in a warm blanket under cold stars.

Six months I waited. That tells you something, doesn't it? 

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