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Akron/Family & Angels of Light

After Michael Gira's discovery of Devendra Banhart, it seems that the Angels of Light frontman (and Young God Records head) knows a good investment when he sees it. Gira's first major find since Banhart is Akron/Family, an avant-folk troupe that traffics in warped twang and blurry harmony. Angels of Light & Akron/Family is, as its name implies, a merger of the two bands -- and its resounding depth and elegance prove that Gira's sole agenda is the patronage of pure sonic poetry. On the album's first half, the Family explores a denser, darker branch of its own disjointed joyousness. Later, Gira leads his protegés through a multi-instrumental minefield of minor keys and apocalyptic love. Between them is a rootsy reading of Dylan's "I Pity the Poor Immigrant" that outlines the acts' overlapping aesthetics, as well as their seamless symbiosis. Regardless of any dividends this collaboration might yield for Gira's wallet, his soul -- and indeed, that of anyone within earshot of this disc -- is much richer for it.

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