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coverpic flag US - Oregon - Full Moon 193 - 06/04/12

The Busy Land of Shadows

Buzzyshyface is a new acquaintance to me; being a space-folk duo from Portland. We're talking a wife/husband act, counting Megan Pickerel (of Portland quintet Swoon 23) and her spouse Herman Jolly (formerly the front man of Seattle band Sunset Valley). The Busy Land of Shadows is their debut, which was recorded at Jonathan Drews' (producer of post Guided By Voices band Boston Spaceships) studio, and, to quote the band: "Mixed to psychedelic perfection by Jason Lytle of Grandaddy."

The Busy Land of Shadows holds 10 songs of quite low-voiced and dreamy character. Megan handle the vocals, while Herman adds acoustic guitar. Everything's indeed gentle and mildly played, with lazily dazed and dazzling melodies. Sweet harmonies, breezy guitar chords, everything done with elegance and grace. I wanted to check out Buzzyshyface because of Jason Lytle's recommendations, and I found that they're quite not what I expected. This is not music right up Lytle's alley, and it's not sounds from the musical valley where Grandaddy used to roam. Yet, the opener, "Dust Devils", is somewhat Lytlesque. Well, so is "Get Dizzy". Musically, you should even imagine the spheres of Mazzy Star, even though Buzzyshyface sound less far out/off. In addition, there are some songs hinting longer back in time, to the old, psychedelic ages. The lyrics to "Way On Back" (which by the way sounds a bit like something out of Syd Barrett's garden, but with the gardener present - pulling weeds, keeping everything top-notch) is quite something for our kafé: ''re like a full moon affecting my dreams...'.

"So If Well" is a brilliant song, one of the better of the album - along with "Get Dizzy", "Pigeon Fix", "Science of the Sun" (the album's shortest song, clocking in at 1:57), not to forget the closing "Scary Lullaby". Yes, quite a pleasant listen, it is, even though I must admit I need some time to let the songs sink, for then to emerge and start swimming by themselves. Let's hope for a soon to come bathing season.

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