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The Last Town Chorus

Wire Waltz (Loose)

By • Dec 2nd, 2006 • Category: Album review

It’s a dangerous game that Megan Hickey, sole fulcrum of the Last Town Chorus’ revolving collective, is playing here; picking her way through a wintry hinterland of folk-country almost-songs. Across these 10 tracks her lap-steel guitar seems to come wailing out of a barren wilderness, sometimes suggesting tunes, more often than not just adding to an empty silence that’s gaping on all sides. The spacious formlessness is slightly Bat For Lashes, Hickey’s dusky vocal brushstroking is very Jesse Sykes, and the whole is significantly more latter than former. But she gets away with it, pirouetting on a tightrope above an endless darkness that’s given a face by her tales of lost lovers, friends, faith and ideals. While alt.country contemporaries like Laura Veirs uncover human warmth in icy soundscapes, this takes the warmth of human relationships and finds only ice at their heart and in their wake. It’s been done before but the idea’s as limitless as the desolation on whose brink she’s waltzing and besides, when was contentedness ever any fun?

TK

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