New Jangle for now people in New Paltz: Lives of the Obscure’s impressive new …

Lives of the Obscure.

Lives of the Obscure.

It has taken these slow ears of mine almost 20 years now – starting the clock at the moment that Eamon Martin turned me on to Tortoise’s post-rock genre-spawning Millions Now Living Will Never Die – to acknowledge that there is a whole new jangle rock out there. This jangle requires no iconic Rickenbacker guitars (and cannot afford them in any case). It is barely conscious of the Byrds, much less of the dBs or of REM. Its tense, diatonically ambiguous guitar arpeggios owe less to “Ticket to Ride” than to the dwelling colors, tone washes and forestalled resolutions of Satie and Debussy, to the methods and mandalas of Steve Reich and Philip Glass applied to pop ends. And this New Jangle, for all its lucid, impressionistic prettiness, is seldom more than a dry hairsbreadth away

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