Monday, June 25, 2007

The Late Virginia Summers - Sundowning

Release Date: 5/16/07
Label: Red Star Community (RSC)

Instrumental music has a very difficult task. The artform must find a way to invoke passion, emotion, and meaning without the use of lyrics. Newcomers The Late Virginia Summers overcome the challenge as well as any instrumental band I've heard. They effectively use intriguing song titles and mood to affect the listener.

Simply put, this album is entrancing.

The Late Virginia Summers is a pleasantly surprising instrumental band that I discovered through a myspace friend request. Their first LP Sundowning is 11 tracks soaked in drum beats, bells, keys, guitars, and various other noises that will certainly arouse your ears. I was looking for music that would be mellow and ideal for late night listening. This album was just as sublime and experimental as I expected. To my surprise, tracks like "Winding Walk, Winter Rain", "Who's Afraid of The Late Virginia Summers", and "You Are What Gets Me In Trouble" are groovy good pop songs with neat vibes. These songs have addictive melodies that exceeded my expectations.

If I'm being completely honest, the only aspect of this album that I don't like is the artwork. For my taste, it doesn't fit the music. I would expect the artwork to reflect the somber tone of the music more than it does. Perhaps it's the mostly white background that doesn't seem quite right. It's a minor criticism and merely an aesthetic one at best.

This is a good album to listen to first thing in the morning because it gets you going without being overbearing or annoying. It's ideal music for "chilling-out" before bedtime or even while you sleep. The music lulls you to sleep with hypnotic sounds and gently pulls you back into consciousness with a catchy beat. Sundowning is a highly focused and cohesive effort as it sets a mood and sticks to it without jumping all around. It's not something I'd listen to while driving or doing yard work, but it certainly has its place in my CD player. All 11 tracks will transport you into a state of relaxation without being boring or mundane. If you need a break from the anxiety of the world, then this is the CD to consider adding to your collection. I highly recommend this album for fans of Unwed Sailor and Saxon Shore. Listen to some tracks from Sundowning here.


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