Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter – Oh My Girl

Second album from folk-country Seattle quintet, again produced by Tucker (Laura Veirs) Martine

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If 2002’s seductive Reckless Burning was an exercise in low-key noir, the follow-up is tinted with flash pockets of colour. The premise remains the same?Sykes’ gentle utterances; ex-Whiskeytown guitarist Phil Wandscher’s slow-tremelo picking; Anne Marie Ruljancich’s downcast violin/cello?but in among the glowering gothic is the cowpoke canter of the Lee Hazlewood-like “The Dreaming Dead” and the spectral fog of “Tell The Boys”, where Wandscher finally cuts loose. Crowning glory “House Down By The Lake” is a somewhat improbable triumph of bluegrass reel and brass flurry. Now that’s progress

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