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 V.20 No.48 | December 1 - 7, 2011 

Sonic Reducer

Summer Camp Welcome to Condale (Apricot Records / Moshi Moshi)

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Londoner Summer Camp—couple Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley—fan-funded this album, offering pledge prizes like white vinyl, homemade brownies, dinner party prep, remixing services, Sankey's sparkly jumpsuit and Warmsley's bass. Welcome to Condale’s nostalgic pop is back from the future. It oozes both hazy and sharp sentimentality and sensuality while exploring psychic dark matter. Even its weaker moments (tracks “Done Forever” and “Losing My Mind”) aren't bad. At its best (“I Want You,” “Brian Krakow” and “Ghost Train”), this full-length debut is a sublime soundtrack for your so-called life. (Samantha Anne Scott)

Narrow Sparrow "Synthworks" (

Chicago-based space pop trio Narrow Sparrow released its debut EP as a free download. The far-out four-song outing incorporates theremin, doo-wop, pitch shifting, spirited guitar and bass lines, and vintage synth sounds. The strongest track, “Joe Meek's Dream,” is an ode to the tragic, visionary songwriter, recording engineer and producer. In it, Meek floats “weightless and free” in outer space and will “never get stung by another bee.” And “Spooky Head” wouldn't seem amiss on the “Twin Peaks” soundtrack. Download the EP at and listen while playing anachronous interstellar conflict board game 4000 A.D. (Samantha Anne Scott)

The Tierney Sutton Band American Road (BFM Jazz)

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If the thought of yet another collection from the Great American Songbook by a jazz vocalist induces a yawn, this one will wake you up. The Tierney Sutton Band—Sutton (vocals), Christian Jacob (piano), Kevin Axt and Trey Henry (both acoustic and electric basses), and Ray Brinker (drums/percussion)—reinvigorates traditional songs, Broadway tunes and anthems with highly imaginative and deliciously rendered arrangements. Sutton’s steely voice, sleeved in silk, floats above it all. The most arresting track has to be the lavishly over-the-top “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” which summons all the hoary authority of the Old Testament while simultaneously exploding it. (Mel Minter)


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