My ears are pretty calloused from listening to stuff like Dead Machines every day, but I’m no savage, so I can say that this Sleep Whale album is very pretty sounding stuff. It’s a guitar, cello, a violin, lots of found sounds and some minimal electronic processing. I was kind of tuned out until about three minutes into the first song where they get all handclaps and radio static.
I think the last time I encounter acoustic instruments played this way, pretty and without the drag of freak folk or chamber music, was something like Very Secretary, which is clearly dating myself. But I always thought Very Secretary was nice to listen too, although I wouldn’t fight for their right to party or anything. Bert Jansch is also a very good reference point on the more guitar heavy songs. Production values are top notch. 5/10 -- Andrew Murdock Livingston (5 August, 2009)