CD Review: Caroline, "Verdugo Hills"

July 18, 2011

Verdugo Hills
Temporary Residence

If you're an escapist, you probably favor songs that create their own space, molding sounds into sensations beyond the auditory. So it will be your serene pleasure to explore Mice Parade band member Caroline Lufkin's solo debut LP Verdugo Hills, an album of electro/acoustic nocturnes sure to stimulate your senses.

Bells twinkle like music boxes while electronic glitches and pops achieve a warmth akin to the analog fuzz of an old LP. The music closes in and encapsulates, an experience of exploration and nostalgia like searching through an attic, rummaging through artifacts and finding yourself lost in contemplation. Song titles give away Lufkin's dream world: "Balloon," "Words Flutter" and "Pink Gloom."

There is a depth to the prevailing intimacy that dispels the claustrophobic feeling, as dulcet tones permeate like ripples on the water of a moonlit night. Occasionally, notes are heard cascading off the strings of harps and guitars. All the while, Lufkin's seraphim voice caresses you.

The sound is beautifully simplistic. Each element is pristine and affecting. This writer has since added Verdugo Hills to his list of favorite musical vacation spots, along with the evergreen pastures of Múm's Finally We Are No One and the glossy slopes of Björk's Vespertine. 

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