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coverpic flag US - Washington - Full Moon 237 - 12/25/15

Craft Spells
Our Park By Night
Captured Tracks

Craft Spells ended a one-month European tour in early December, and I am sorry to say that I missed out their gig at Revolver, Oslo on November 29th where they shared stage with Scotsman Alasdair Roberts). Justin Vallesteros' Craft Spells pop project started out as a bedroom thing in 2009. Since then, Craft Spells has released two albums, Idle Labor (2010) and Nausea (2014) - both released by Brooklyn's Captured Tracks. Today, after a few line-up changes, Craft Spells is a quintet when performing live counting Vallesteros, Javier Suarez, Cameron Spencer Case, Nick Robins, and Brock Lowry. Genre-wise, they claim to be the 'sons of Bryan Ferry'!

"Our Park By Night" is the brand new single (yes, on single sided, limited edition, orange clear vinyl!), and their first new release since 2014's Nausea. "Our Park..." is said to be 'influenced by early dub and 90s big beat', and Vallesteros has stated that he wants to rise above the label/tag 'Indie rock', which quite often is stuck to his music: 'This was my youthful approach to my early style of production where I never thought about a live band. "Our Park by Night" was the first to be finished after the last album and you can hear me slowly putting the color back into the music...It feels like an art project again and not so much of an indie album.' The slack beat and the relaxed electronic chill of "Our Park At Night" is like a synth pop hint towards, say, Japan meets Yellow Magic Orchestra. That said, Craft Spells' music has got a US indie vibe (after all, they hail from Pavement's hometown of Stockton, California) and I also imagine a mixture of the acts The Album Leaf and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Anyway, "Our Park By Night" is an uplifting song and joyous. I am curious to check out the next move from Vallesteros and his Craft Spells.

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