Genre bands don't need to sound wildly dissimilar from other groups of their type to stand out from the pack. A few key distinctions are enough, as the men of Clair de Lune understand. Although most of the vivid tunes found on Marionettes, released this past June under the Deep Elm umbrella, fit snugly within the emo category, several of the sonic elements regularly utilized by this Minnesota quintet push the music in unexpected directions. For one thing, Adam Roddy's old-school keyboards, which provide classic drama to the likes of "Sailor Beware" and "Passenger View," hold a prominent place in the mix -- an appropriate choice, given that the combo shares its moniker with a piano piece by Claude Debussy. For another, the players, currently touring with Little Brazil, refuse to be bound by standard-issue post-punk structures, stretching out on the likes of "Twenty Threes," an arty instrumental, and "Blue Ribbon," a cut that supplements anthemic choruses with plenty of quirky riffology. When it comes to Clair de Lune, little things make all the difference.
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