Archer Prewitt Three

To create a piece of work that doesn't just recall a stylistic era, but sounds like its contemporary, is truly remarkable. Archer Prewitt's Three is a stunning blend of the zippy pop and English folk sounds of the late '60s and early '70s, upbeat and delightful, at times deceptively simple. He's managed to capture a moment in time that balances the folk rock of the Byrds, the sentiment of James Taylor (without the stripped down arrangements and gloomy outlook) with the pop sound that would soon evolve into disco (without the dance floor dependence and production sheen). That Prewitt has the talent and vision to pull this off without seeming mawkish or slavishly imitative should come as no surprise: the former Coctails guitarist is also a member of the currently-on-hold Chicago soft pop group the Sea and Cake; he's a sometime drummer for Edith Frost; and is an accomplished cartoonist and illustrator. But this third solo effort - after two plus an EP on Carrot Top - is his most fully realised to date, without a single distracting failed experiment or quirky stylistic diversion. (Thrill Jockey)