Roots and Crowns
Label: Thrill Jockey
Like 2004's Heron King Blues, this collection of pretty, melodic and acoustic tunes shares ground with folk-based genre muddlers like Sparklehorse and My Morning Jacket. It's Tim Rutili's gift for enigmatic poetics and world-weary moaning, along with the flourishes of feedback and the controlled cacophony of the production, that makes the band's sound distinctive. The orchestration is cluttered with every instrument in the band room, yet still leaves room for the simple, endearing melodies. Songs like "Sunday Noises" and "A Chinese Actor" amply reward repeated listens.