Monday, May 07, 2007

Tanakh Saunders Hollow (Camera Obscura)

Tanakh’s Saunders Hollow is supposedly a sister record to last year’s Ardent Fevers and given its solemn take on drowsy renaissance folk, soft but dusty jazz structures, wide-open Americana, scorching psychedelia and darkly seducing drones you can most definitely see why. Here we find former back-up singer Michele Poulos taking over as lead vocalist and although I am a big fan of Jesse Poe’s voice it’s still a welcome change, if not for anything else for sheer variation. One can almost sense that this has given Poe more time to concentrate on the musician/producer side of things, as I can’t remember ever hearing a Tanakh record with this attention to details and deep textural scope.

The eclectic instrumentation includes, but are not limited to: bass, electric guitars, tablas, ukuleles, electronics, violins, vibraphone, harpsichords, organs, pianos, saxophones, acoustic guitars, lap steels, drums and although that might give you a rough idea of what to expect it won’t quite prepare you for masterworks such as the swelling splendor of the slightly ethnic title track. Tanakh carry heavy weights of folk history on their shoulders but somehow they make classic song writing sound their own and at times even unique.