In this week's paper, Christian Schaeffer reviews Magnolia Summer's two new EPs, The Current Moves and The Slip That Leads Into the Fall.
No one can accuse Magnolia Summer leader Chris Grabau of getting lazy. Sixteen months after the release of the band's most recent (and strongest) LP, Lines From the Frame, Grabau and company have compiled a pair of digital EPs (which are available at your favorite online MP3 retailer; find the list online at www.magnoliasummer.com). At first glance, the EPs seem like an odds-and-ends collection -- and, sure enough, there are the requisite demos, alternate takes and even a remix included. But what's more striking about the songs is how many disparate styles and influences Grabau explores. "Rangeline," the first track on Slip, begins like an Album Leaf track; its minimal drum-machine pulse and airy keyboard notes get caught like flies in a web of hazy ambience. That same experimentation appears on Current's "The High Road," as a percussion loop and New Order-esque guitar lines allow for one of Grabau's most fragile and arresting vocals.
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