Listening to the mad Gypsy sounds of Taarka's Seed Gathering for a Winter Garden is like a temporary escape from the mundane modern world into an exotic caravan traveling a fantastic world. The instrumentals range from the frenetic bluegrass stylings of the opening track, "Artic Meltdown," to the insistent, intricate interplay of guitar and violin on "A Whole New You." The vocal tracks are all smoky, seductive nuggets of Gypsy folk pop with dark undercurrents, similar to a less melodramatic DeVotchKa. There's not a bad track on the album, and the band wisely wraps with "Vestal Flame," easily the best of the batch. Blending Old World exoticism with thoroughly American folk and just a hint of a modern edge, Taarka conjures up a rich, detailed and delightful landscape.
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