Calico Horse


August 1, 2008

(Banter Records)

There aren't many ladies who will rock folk vocals above a kind of tronica. I'm not even sure Calico Horse is any kind of tronica, but the cooing of frontwoman Emily Neveu definitely puts her in the spiritual sisterhood of Beach House's Victoria Legrand and the gals from Au Revoir Simone. Mirror does use some trippy semitronica sounds and a sample of what seems like Catholic school girls mumbling the Hail Mary, but really the majority of the album is indie rock at its most innovative. Mirror is a full LP in not one, but two, acts separated by the Guillaume Yann Tiersen-esque "Interlude 5." The grandiose "Onomatopoeia" climaxes the first act, while the second act peaks at "Colors." "Happy Placebo Syringe Day" intrigued me as a song title and eventually became my favorite on the album, with its sweet melodies and the blissful line, "Grab your tap shoes, Amy/Let's go out and play." Neveu, a San Diego native, is a resourceful and fresh talent at songwriting, and has Grafted the perfect soundtrack for a dark, dreamy walk through an old city. -Christine Vilar

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