C W Stoneking is a one-off eccentric of the first order, a 21st-century Australian white man who presents himself, colouration excepted, as a black American minstrel from a century earlier.
The classically trained percussionist Sean Carey first came to attention as part of the Bon Iver touring band, during whose two-month jaunt he developed the songs on this debut album. It's an intriguing ambient/chamber/indie/folk affair on which his high, airy vocals nestle in warm ambient glows, simple piano and guitar figures, or purring minimalist settings of reeds, murmurs and tuned percussion. "We Fell", for instance, places high harmonies like something off Brian Wilson's Smile. Elsewhere, there are echoes of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Iron & Wine in the gorgeous, haunting "Mothers" and "Move", while darker, more fragmentary shards of electric guitar lacerate "Action", before the album draws to a close in a gamelan carillon of metallic percussion with "Broken". Lovely stuff.
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