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Starflyer 59 | Leave Here a Stranger | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Starflyer 59

Leave Here a Stranger (Tooth & Nail)
by Tim Den

This band just keeps reinventing itself and getting better and better. Leave Here a Stranger is Starflyer 59's Pet Sounds (all the way down to the mono recording!): Layers and layers of instruments floating atop of each other like disembodied ghosts. Flutes, orchestras, choirs, slide guitars, backward tape loops, and tympanies turn what was once a minimalist rock/pop band into a kaleidoscope of somber colors. Guitarist/vocalist Jason Martin continues to whisper self-doubt and cynicism toward the music industry, but now he's supported by constantly shifting backdrops. It's hard to believe his unwillingness to participate in music-making (found in lyrics and song titles such as "When I Learn to Sing," "All My Friends Who Play Guitar," "Can You Play Drums?", and "Give Up the War") when his songs have never sounded more vibrant, more visionary, more cohesive. Like the cover art, Leave Here a Stranger is a stretch of music territory that is both beautiful because of its loneliness and impressive because of how each tiny part makes up the entire mass.
(PO Box 12698 Seattle, WA 98111)  


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