Sugarplum Fairies

Country International Records
Starfish Records

Making a summer record is something to proud of and while the Sugarplum Fairies may not ring the Summer 2006 bell the loudest, the smooth tones, quiet vocals and jangle moments on this, their third full length, become more vivid when it’s sunny, over 80 and cares begin to slip away. The vibe from this duo of Austrians, Silvia Ryder and Ben Bohm, is easy to dissect: whispery, unruffled vocals from Ryder backed with lots of midtempo guitarage (slide, acoustic, chimey, tremolo) from Bohm, all of it bathed in the glow of earnest late 90’s vintage shoe gazing. Comparisons to the Cowboy Junkies and Mazzy Star have some legitimacy. As in most tunes where the players are staring down directly at their laces, the lyrics here are sad or at least uniformly mopey. But the serious words don’t kill the easy, likable flow which is best typified by upbeat near rockers like the lush "Summerland" and the electric guitar-edged, "Velcro Girl." Produced this time out by Charlie Brocco and drummer Ken Coomer (Wilco) who also plays on the album, the band’s sound has here expanded to include flourishes like the trumpet fills on "When You’re Mean" or the organ on the closing cut, a dreamy cover of U2’s "All I Want Is You." A slight chill in the summer air.

Justin's picture

Great CD