October 04, 2005

Boduf Songs "Boduf Songs"

One of the big flaws with the whole 'freak-folk' movement is that it seems more focused on the 'freak' part, and the 'folk' part is only incidental. The only thing worse than a fake hippie is the fake hippie's utterly boring record. To those who make such music--come on, people, a little variety, please! Make something interesting happen in your music. Don't just stick to the same formula. The people you're ripping off usually had some form of variety to their music...why can't you?

Though a folk-style heart might beat under Mat Sweet's music, he tempers his songs with unusual sounds, from clanging metal (on "Claimant Reclaimed") to bells with backwards-played tapes ("Our Canon of Transportation:), field recordings ("Lost in Forests") and understated drone ("Vapour Steals the Glow"). Sweet sings in the same gray, mumbling lilt as Elliott Smith, and though he doesn't emit the same painful despair as Smith, his songs are very downbeat and lonesome. Boduf Songs is a dreary, cold and rainy listen, but its beauty is also instantly apparent.

Word has it that Boduf Songs initially served as a collection of demos, but the songs were so impressive that the label decided to release them untouched. After listening to this all-too-brief record, it's not hard to understand the label's point of view. Minimalism never sounded so beautiful, and Boduf Songs is a promising, captivating debut record.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.bluebabyrecordings.com
Label Website: http://www.kranky.net

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