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Winston-Salem sextet singer Philip Pledger of the Estrangers bares the warm characteristic tone of Fleet Foxes singer Robin Pecknold. Pledger takes on the backing whimsical, shambling instrumentation with folk-like command. His verses arc and bow with the rising tide of guitars, organs, percussion and odd peculiarities, the staple of recording with analog equipment.
The result is warm, fuzzy and frenzied chamber pop, which at times echoes the instrumentation found on a Belle and Sebastian album, if they were to dabble in lo-fi psychedelia. Songs like the surreal, dreamy “Love’s Pure Light” are sonic bliss, rambling with piano and thumping bass-driven rhythm. The chorus arrives with an onslaught of texture, a wall of indiscernible, yet harmonized sound so pleasantly fuzz. The wall breaks away for a hooky guitar melody and Pledger’s glowing voice, “Caught in between / The wolves sharpened teeth / The tearing sea / The waking dream” (“Love’s Pure Light”).▼ Article continues below ▼
The combination of piano and guitars, progressive rhythms and strong, melody-heavy songwriting is a sad-day antidote. The songwriting remains unified throughout, which underscores the band’s characteristic, slightly experimental core. Season of 1000 Colors is a strong addition to the library any lo-fi fanatic waiting for a new Elephant Six era.