The Raven and the Writing Desk

Picking up where Recidivist, the band's audacious 2010 debut album, left off, this EP from the Raven and the Writing Desk displays an even more fully integrated band adept at making creative use of all the sounds and textures at its disposal. "Tiny" sounds like Danny Elfman got together with Nick Cave to make gypsy carnival music for a sequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas, especially toward the end, where you can just picture a scene in which dark faerie creatures are dancing joyfully instead of moping about. "Infancy," meanwhile, sort of has a sea-chanty feel to it, except that Julia LiBassi's vocals are far too melodious for that sort of thing, and the song ultimately has more of a European pop-folk vibe than any kind of drinking tune. Overall, The Bonedale is a compelling snapshot of ambitious artists cutting loose.


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