New Bums

Album Title: Last Time I Saw Grace
Record Label: Drag City
Review by John Noyd
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New Bums - Last Time I Saw GraceNew Bums - Last Time I Saw Grace

Naturally engineered, like falling leaves, rolling stones or mountain streams, Ben Chasny and Donovan Quinn’s collaborative magic spins nimble acoustic grooves into grinning roots-pop ruses, preordained refrains colored in sparkling spontaneity. Platonic, ironic and organic, the duo’s deft sophomore effort reaps polished modesty and breezy genius seven years after their test the waters debut, flushed in refreshing depth, thoughtful dodges, refined harmonies and crisp interactions. Stripped-down and living-room friendly, “Grace,” embraces earthy subversion, dressing traditions in subtle muscle, fleshed in pleasant cleverness and layered with mirthful mercy.  From sturdy country dirges to proto-folk woes, the New Bum’s two-guitar attack chases rock ‘n roll ghosts brimming in vigorous whimsy, genuine gusto, baroque overtures and rippling intuition. A tuneful testament to overlapping talents bonding over mutual influences.

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