Exposé Online banner

The Sours — The Sours
(Moonjune ZM003, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-05-29

The Sours Cover art

One may immediately be reminded of the late 60s and early 70s post-psychedelic emergence of the singer-songwriter ‘less-is-more’ musical ethic, where great lyrics, simple accompaniment and a strong vocalist could rule the day. Indeed, so many decades later this style still conveys warmth, honesty, and brilliance, and is a joy to hear. The Sours is essentially a duo, Sasha Markovic plays acoustic guitar, and Sarah Schrift sings and also plays acoustic guitar, the two penning all of their own music and lyrics with spirited expressiveness and no pretensions; on a couple tracks the duo is joined by pianist Kana Kamitsubo, who also shares writing credits on one of the cuts. The eleven tracks are presented no-frills, all in the two-to-four minute range, with the voice and song lyrics out front, and just enough acoustic accompaniment to give each piece some flavor and form. Schrift’s voice has a soulful and somewhat introspective and smoky quality that brings the listener back for many repeat listens, and only in a couple places do we hear any overdubbed vocal harmonies – most notably on “R for Regret,” just enough to leave you wanting more. Other standouts are closer “Egret,” essentially a solo vocal piece, and a very powerful one, and “Seawitch” that fuses some jazzy and old-timey folk styles with an outstanding modern production – just mentioning these, but truly every song here is a winner. Although Schrift’s voice is definitely her own, one might look all the way back to Joni Mitchell in her Clouds period for a similarly styled recording and production style. Most should find this collection of songs compelling; for myself, it’s hard to stop pushing the replay button.


Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): The Sours

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Solstice - Spirit – One of the bright spots of 2010 was the return of Solstice. It's been 13 years since their last studio effort, Circles, and I was beginning to wonder if they'd ever return. Other than Andy Glass'...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues