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Flyaway Garden
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  • Personnel: Kaitlin Van Pelt (vocals, accordion, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, synthesizer); Dan Wolfe (vocals, organ, synthesizer, percussion, sampler, Theremin).
  • Audio Mixer: Dan Wolfe .
  • Recording information: Breakfast in Fur's Home Studio; Marcata Studios; No Parking Studios.
  • The Bar/None-issued debut long-player from the Hudson Valley-based indie pop unit named after a famed 1936 sculpture by surrealist M?ret Oppenheim, Breakfast in Fur isn't nearly as impenetrable as its fanciful namesake would suggest, though they do spend a great deal of time with their collective heads in the clouds. Flyaway Garden, a reference to visual artist and bandmember Kaitlin Van Pelt's mixed-media works exhibit of the same name, offers up a winning mix of shimmery, Catskills-inspired experimental indie folk-rock and lightly shoegaze dream pop that falls somewhere between the Cocteau Twins, the Magnetic Fields, Panda Bear, and Lush. The gently propulsive "Shape" sets the tone, pairing a twinkly, echo chamber piano lead against a sumptuous wash of chugging guitars and cavernous percussion, with co-lead vocalist and founder Dan Wolfe's melodious yet tentative croon soaring above. The evocative "Portrait" and "Lifter" adopt a similar tone, eschewing Wolfe's voice for Van Pelt's more ethereal delivery, wrapping both songs in gossamer strings of frosty, north country-inspired ambience. This penchant for sonic ephemera runs throughout the album's relatively brief, 35-minute runtime, and it's especially true of its latter half, with tracks like "Ghum," "Sun Catcher," "Cripple Creek Ferry," and the airy, wordless title cut existing in a sort of bucolic, semi-overcast vacuum. It's hardly an unpleasant experience, as Breakfast in Fur always feels in command of the moment, and the largely unassuming Flyaway Garden, which is as hard to pin down as it is strangely comforting, demands a little bit of patience from the listener. Whether that's too much to ask in the increasingly attention span-deprived 21st century, is up for debate. ~ James Christopher Monger
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