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Cherry Blossoms - Cherry Blossoms [no label - 2007]

This self titled CDR (a little confusing because their latest LP is also self titled) is a lo-fi document of a collective of as many as eight members, in this case including Josephine Foster on a couple of tracks. As one would expect there's largely a folk element to this music, but for the most part it's anything but traditional.

It's not hard to believe that Will Oldham is enamoured with this band, because the sloppiness and the Appalachian inflection set forth here aren't miles away from the first Palace Brothers records. The Cherry Blossoms are definitely a bit of a different proposition though; they cross Appalachian folk with a layer of instrumentation which veers into the hillbilly avant garde of Henry Flynt at times.

Some passages sound like traditional music straight from a crackly 78, complete with melodic old-time vocals courtesy of Peggy Snow (as well as the aforementioned Foster). Other moments there are wordless vocals and fairly noisy detours with rudimentary percussion and seemingly multitudes of stringed instruments.

This music, as "out-there" as it may be, has an earthy vibe which makes it something interesting to behold. It sounds to me like there's some carefully written songs beneath the dusty lo-fidelity of these recordings. These songs are mostly acoustic, and if there's any studio intervention, it's not very evident. Cherry Blossoms sounds like a recording which could have been unearthed from some deserted coal town long after its inhabitants split. You can find it here.     

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Erwin Michelfelder
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