Damon & Naomi The Earth Is Blue

Damon & Naomi The Earth Is Blue
Emerging from a three-year absence, Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang charge back into the fray with this haunting and confident collection of songs. Their last album included Japan’s Ghost, and it seems synergy was in the air, as Ghost guitarist Michio Kurihara returns as a full-fledged part of the group that brings added instrumentation and heft to many of the fragile songs here. Opener "Beautiful Close Double” captures much of what works spectacularly well on this album, which are the beautifully deft harmonies of the titular pair and also the subtle and natural bursts of instrumentation, in this case being a lone triumphant trumpet. Also, not afraid to let the feedback fly, both "A Second Life” and "House of Glass” feature muscular hazy psych-rock influences in their guitar breaks. Despite these bursts of energy, the rest of the album floats along at a slower pace, giving full space and time for Naomi’s haunting voice mixed with either a lazy acoustic backing or electric guitar accents. If there’s a slight misstep, it would be a rather faithful rendering of George Harrison’s "While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which does it’s job in its elegiac way, but still sticks out in this otherwise supremely varied and inventive album. Welcome back, and please stay a little while. (Sonic Unyon)