Colder Than Fargo's debut, In the Basement of the Chapel, strove to embody its name: Frigid and hymnal, the disc was a lucid -- if occasionally flawed -- translation of simplicity and soul into song. But Blue (whose release will be celebrated Friday, June 3, at the hi-dive, with Channing Cope and Uphollow) blows Basement away. The EP's four tracks are split between drowsy sleepwalks and more upbeat downers like "Moonshake," whose echo-blurred riffs sound like something Black Rebel Motorcycle Club might pump out after a hard day of mountain biking. Similarly, "Furious Boy" is a shard of harmonized, crystalline space pop that resembles Honey's Dead-era Jesus and Mary Chain. But as rousing and blissful as those cuts are, it's the rest that bring the act full circle. "Holed Up Again," a holdover from leader Eric Bailly's acoustic-songwriter days, is rendered into hypnotic, surging majesty, and "Quiet Contemplation" rivals one of Galaxie 500's own icy asteroids. In true Colder Than Fargo fashion, Blue lives up to its title, as evocative of melancholy and hypothermia as it is of big, bright skies.
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