Inside Voices, the impressive debut from Santa Cruz-based duo Brook and River, is a short collection of songs filled with jangly strings, off-kilter harmonies, and just the right amount of modern angst. Young songwriters Grady Bell and Michael Hiller are certainly aware of their idols, but the album is only tinged with reverential nostalgia, rather than mired in it. Almost miraculously, Inside Voices manages to escape the colossal shadows cast by Arcade Fire and The Shins without falling too far into abstraction. What we are left with seems more Neil Young than Funeral and tells the story of a couple of guys in a small town filled with fickle women. Brook and River seem capable of filling space with something more than derivative reinterpretation. They just aren’t quite sure what that is yet. Either way, we’re excited to hear what these “inside voices” sound like as they grow louder.
Brook and River
Monday, January 10, 2011
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