Seldom Family, “self-titled” LP review

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Seldom Family, self-titled LP | April 2017
https://seldomfamily.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled
RIYL: Jeff Buckley, Morrissey, Pedro the Lion

This is high-functioning, dreamy, shoegazey indie-pop from a two-person band that clearly knows how to layer. Singer/guitarist Patrick Norris is a crooner and a half, quietly emoting, drawing out syllables as he carefully builds out each song with sparse, pretty guitar work; Chris Caulder plays drums, bass, and lap steel guitar, notably adding pretty perfect cymbal crashes right where you want them.

I say this LP is high-functioning because it is of impeccable quality–the way this is recorded, mixed and mastered is some major-label-level stuff, but Caulder actually recorded this in his home studio. It’s clear as water before the industrial revolution; it’s crisp as an apple on a September morning.

And yet, the feel is of a fish tank, of wiper blades pushing against sheets of rain. This record is a little world, tender and swirling. My favorite track is the last one, “It’s Never Needless,” which starts with a simple strum and grows, reminiscent of a ‘50s slow-dance song or ballad. It seems designed to pull heartstrings, to invoke a film noir makeout scene, painstakingly shot, with someone watching ominously in the distance. I guess for this record, that someone is the listener.

–Francesca Olsen

 

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