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Patrick Phelan/Ultrasound | Then Trust/Cathera (Jonathon Whiskey)
This limited edition (500 only) 7" is graced with a wonderful new song from Patrick Phelan (the first since 2001's 'The Parlor' album?), which is accurately described as 'the perfect combination of Nick Drake and Elliott Smith' on the accompanying label spiel. Dextrous fingerpicking and an intimate, breathy yet commanding vocal set Phelan apart, and he's a consummate songsmith to boot. My copy suffers from some distortion and sibilance but it's a pleasure to own all the same. On the reverse, Texans Ultrasound (not to be confused with the overblown and overweight British act of the same name) deliver a sparse counterpoint, their Cathera being a brooding post/space rock excursion with mournful viola from James Alexander adding an aged pathos to the contemporary drones and treated guitarscape.

Matt Dornan
June-July 2003

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