steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Harpeth Trace

"Man and the Cousin" CDEP

Robert Barry Construction Associates

Genre: folk pop, folk rock

June 2006

Amazing things come from unsuspected places. The Harpeth Trace's Man and the Cousin EP is unsettling but wonderful, a delicate, dusty artifact from a shattered barn somewhere in the Midwest. "Cottontail" sets the stage, combining a meandering guitar line with hushed percussion and lush vocals. I hear Galaxie 500, Will Oldham, and some My Morning Jacket in this, though the predominant style seems to be folk-pop. The songs are all about presentation and style on this disc; melodically, they're good but unspectacular, but it's atmosphere that carries The Harpeth Trace as far as they go. Be it the detail of a distant melodica in "Cotton Tail" or the reverbating, domestic guitars of "A Letter To The Room", everything here comes together perfectly. The depressed title-track could be the record's highpoint, while "Ghost and You Know It" can seem a little drawn-out - but not to the point of becoming a problem. The Man and the Cousin EP is haunting, beautiful, and simply incredible for a debut EP. I am very interested to see what The Harpeth Trace can do on a full-length album.



Fun Fact: This EP can be bought for five bucks, shipping included (!!!) from the band's website. Comes with a free sticker, too. Nice.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 4 tracks, distributed by the label, released Dec 20 2005]