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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Soy un Caballo

Les Heures de Raison (Minty Fresh)

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The band name "Soy un Caballo" means "I am a Horse" in Spanish, the group's lyrics are in French and the main songwriting duo of Aurélie Muller and Thomas Van Cottom come from Belgium. Luckily for those skittish about a little taste of the exotic, not everything about Soy un Caballo will be foreign to savvy music aficionados.

Muller and Van Cottom have called on friends and indie-rock mainstays Sean O'Hagan (High Llamas, Stereolab, Super Furry Animals) and Will Oldham (aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy) for an album that promises to be one of the year's most overlooked gems. Throughout, O'Hagan offers his glisteningly clean yet understated production along with a few slight hints of Moog or Farfisa, while Oldham brings a touch of country charm.

The underlying, laid-back, often Brazilian-infused songs, all rolling acoustic guitar and marimba arpeggios and boy-girl harmonies, stream effortlessly together. It all translates to that rare, rare find: an album perfect for all seasons-for curling up next to the fireplace in winter; for dreamily staring out at a spring thunderstorm; for lounging on the patio while soaking up the summer sun; for background music to nostalgic fall conversations with old friends. It's calm and quiet, yet captivating.


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