The Sours — The Sours
(Moonjune ZM003, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-05-29One may immediately be reminded of the late 1960s and early 1970s 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.
Related artist(s): The Sours
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more