Pin It
Favorite

CD Review - Mazarin 

by Mike Corrigan


It just keeps getting better, doesn't it? Mazarin, a loose-knit collective headed up by Philly wonderlad, Quentin Stoltzfus, presents for your quiet afternoon pleasure A Tall-Tale Storyline, the group's follow-up to its critically acclaimed, home-recorded indie pop jewel, Watch It Happen. Be prepared, for the pleasures found here come quick and often.


The ambient drone that forms the foundation of the eight-minute opening track, "Go Home," hypnotically rises and falls, trilling like deep ocean whale chatter over emphatically strummed acoustic guitar. Layered vocal harmonies are pleasantly reminiscent of those once crafted by Brian Wilson.


The production is strikingly warm, organic and immediate despite a conspicuous electronica presence (tone generators, samples and synths). Elsewhere, the electronically generated atmospherics are wed to No Wave wonk ("My Favorite Green Hill" rocks Yo La Tengo-style) in a simple yet exalted ceremony that's destined to rouse the neighbors. Lazy slide guitar, tinkling xylophone and the singer's quavering falsetto are all that are needed to invoke a wistful, reflective mood on "Flying Arms for Driving." And more than once, mildly trippy, countrified rock a la Notorious-era Byrds emerges from the reverie (on the wonderfully melodic "What Sees the Sky" for instance). The Gram Parsons-inflected "Limits of Language" explores the futility of attempting to express with words that which can never be adequately verbalized: "The limits of language have all been found/And I keep writing on till I get it down." It is this challenge that is the ultimate inspiration and impetus behind all writing -- whether as lyrics or in other forms.


The album's initial airiness takes on multi-dimensional heft on repeated listenings as the delicate interplay between instruments (emphasizing the acoustic variety and Stoltzfus' warm, accessible vocals above the electronic sounds gurgling merrily just beneath the surface), inventive vocal harmonies and smart lyric fragments inexorably reveal themselves. It's then that you realize that this not just a beautiful and confident sophomore effort but a singular triumph of impeccable song craft and hope over the power of cynicism. You need you wrap yourself up in this. Immediately.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Women's Movement
  • Women's Movement

    The Zags are thrilling their fans and filling the stands in a way few women's programs are anywhere
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Cultural Warrior
  • Cultural Warrior

    Publisher's Note
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Sorry, Senator Risch
  • Sorry, Senator Risch

    But transparency isn't the problem with torture
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular

Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular @ Riverfront Park

Through Jan. 1, 2015

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Corrigan

  • Lights, Camera, Skate
  • Lights, Camera, Skate

    Two local artists have transformed their love of skateboarding into a new variety show on Community Television.
    • Dec 14, 2011
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    A raucous good time from Thee Oh Sees. Plus, vintage horror and a Berlin filmmaker to check out.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • Time Travelers
  • Time Travelers

    For some local store owners, finding intriguing merchandise isn’t just business, it’s an obsession.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation