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The Transformations

Beginning with a sample of waves coming in off the ocean, Curse All Summers conjures the kind of day where low-hanging clouds gray the sky from horizon to horizon. Akin to an even more low-fi Elliott Smith, the Transformations make no bones about their melancholic tone, but there's less desperation and more hope to be found amid the album's overall sense of resignation. "Whispering Waves," meanwhile, recalls the haunted intensity of The For Carnation's brand of introspective pop, and the calm pacing of "Pretending to Sleep" lightens the mood via Weston Wilson's gently lilting vocal delivery. The title track conveys an interesting mixture of urgency and fragility with a gently plucked mandolin accompanied by melodica. Overall, there's a notable earnestness and tender sensibility to Curse All Summers that's matched effectively by downtempo moods.