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Alternative & Indie - Released April 5, 2019 | Hardly Art

Shana Cleveland has found an audience in the indie rock community as the leader of the fine surf-infused band La Luz, but before the group took off, she was recording her own variety of idiosyncratic indie folk. Taking a busman's holiday from the group, Cleveland has cut a second album of songs fashioned around her acoustic guitar work and evocative melodies (the first, Oh Man, Cover the Ground, was recorded in 2011 and released in 2015), and 2019's Night of the Worm Moon is a quietly dazzling exercise in moody, expressive acoustic music. The heart of these songs can be found in Cleveland's hushed vocals and subtle guitar work, which lend these performances a feeling somewhere between John Fahey and early Leonard Cohen (think Songs of Leonard Cohen, not I'm Your Man). Meanwhile, the arrangements, in particular Will Sprott's keyboards, fill out the melodies with sounds that conjure a cool, forbidding psychedelic undercurrent that are a splendid complement for Cleveland's spectral guitar. This is a far cry from the smart but sunny approach of La Luz, but Cleveland's understated vocal delivery and the impressionistic bent of her lyrics are two areas of common ground between these projects. And if Night of the Worm Moon is a very different kettle of fish than La Luz, it's similarly rewarding. This album is superb rainy-day listening, music that's subtle but effectively draws the listener into its web, and Cleveland's songs cast a spell that's truly beguiling. At its best, Night of the Worm Moon could pass for some forgotten freak-folk classic of the late '60s or early '70s, though you don't have to follow the trippiness of the past to appreciate its many pleasures. ~ Mark Deming
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$12.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 5, 2019 | Hardly Art

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