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Grand Archives

Grand Archives
Sub Pop

Just as his former band (Band of Horses) en-dured countless comparisons to other groups, Mat Brooke's Grand Archives will undoubtedly be likened to other indie-pop luminaries.

On songs such as "Index Moon," for instance, Brooke's voice resembles that of the New Pornographers' A.C. Newman, while "Torn Blue Foam Couch" evokes a folksier Raveonettes with intertwined male and female vocals. Most songs here fill out the arrangements with three and four vocalists, somewhat making up for Brooke's less-than-distinctive lead vocals, but "The Crime Window" may take it a step too far: The players conjure the Polyphonic Spree covering Andrew W.K. as the whole band shouts along in unison.

Fittingly, Grand Archives sounds best when it sticks to the stripped-down elegance of Brooke's work in Seattle mope folkers Carissa's Wierd — as on "George Kaminski," which combines a lilting, breathy vocal melody with tasteful slide work to lovely effect.

 
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