Exposé Online banner

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

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-05-29

The Sours Cover artOne 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.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): The Sours

Latest news

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Oysterband - Here I Stand – Oysterband (originally The Oyster Band) has been making music in their own unique and developing style for more than a decade. I would hesitate to call them a post-punk equivalent of Fairport...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues