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The Twin Atlas | Bring Along The Weather (Tappersize)
The Twin Atlas's third album of home recordings (following 2000's 'The Philadelphia Parking Authority Must Die' - full marks for the title - and 2001's 'Kitchen USA') marks a quantum leap for Mazarin/Matt Pond PA/Lenola drummer Sean Byrne and collaborator Luke Zaleski. In fact it's a revelation. One of those records that creeps up on you and then sticks there for weeks, 'Bring Along The Weather' is a collection of fourteen wonderful, airy, folky, gorgeous, warm songs. That shouldn't come as a total surprise to anyone who's heard the previous two albums - they were full of them - but, crucially, those records were overlong (twenty-six and twenty-two tracks, respectively), and had their share of filler, the overall effect diluted. Still pretty good but, trimmed down, both would have made killer EPs. Discretion, judicious editing, a more rigorous application of quality control, whatever, means there isn't a dud on 'Bring Along The Weather', it's just thirty-nine minutes of glorious pop bliss. Here the confections range from the soaring Byrdsy jangle of Show Me All through the melancholy Sun Touches Down to the scaled-down MBV wigout of Beautiful Surprise. And then there's the production. It's frankly astonishing to think that Byrne created these gems on a Tascam 488 tape deck in his Philadelphia apartment and not in an expensive studio. The arrangements are ornate and imaginative, the melodies rich, the whole thing seems just so effortless, even if it was anything but. Note: there's a companion disc to follow shortly, with all the pieces recorded over the same period that didn't make this record.

Stephen Raywood
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003