Author: Jason Kucsma
04/01/2002 | Clamor Magazine | Album Review
Those of you who have more than a couple issues of Clamor might recognize our (my) love affair with Saddle Creek Records. It's a strange love affair where I get enjoyment from seeing them courted by other people. So I've been voyeuristically following the trail of articles, reviews and interviews about Saddle Creek and watching people fall in love with this label the way I did when I first heard Bright Eyes almost three years ago. Rarely have I not liked a release that they put out and when I do, it's kind of like getting over your lover's idiosyncracies and realizing that the quirks are what make you that much more entranced by them. But up to this point, Saddle Creek has been a boy's label-with most of the releases featuring brilliant, impassioned boys making beautiful music. It's long overdue and definitely fulfilling to hear the two entrancing women who are Azure Ray create captivatingly minimalist compositions with acoustic intimacy. Their haunting harmonies combine with cellos, piano, guitar and bowed bass to create an enveloping beauty not unlike some of the darker (early) Suzanne Vega songs and Twin Peaks' vocalist Julee Cruise. The subterranean bass lines of "I Will Do These Things" will literally slow your heart rate to synch with the song while you become completely aware of your physical connection to the music. This is a rare thing in music and definitely something to be sought out and cherished.