Harris Newman Accidents with Nature and Each Other

On last year’s stellar debut, Non-Sequiturs, Montreal-based acoustic guitar genius Harris Newman evoked his mystical feelings about our barren earth through intricately plucked patterns of lonely splendour. With this sophomore album he moves further into the psychedelic chasms that lie just beyond those mystic palaces; slightly darker, more stirring passages that usurp the depression-era mood of Non-Sequiturs for something more modern. Accidents with Nature begins with a trio of solo acoustic numbers, Newman’s specialty, on which he takes a slightly less meticulous and thereby rawer approach to rollicking out his folky vision of head-spinning precision. He then makes an abrupt left-turn into the unfolding cosmos of lapsteel drones with "It’s a Trap (Part 1)” before his pal Sandro Perri (a.k.a. Polmo Polpo) joins him on lapsteel once more for the breezy "Lake Shore Drive.” What could be an ode to hobos and rail-riders past and present, "A Thousand Stolen Blankets to Keep You Warm at Night” is the closest the album comes to the folk-days John Fahey feel Newman emulated so masterfully on his debut. The remainder of Accidents finds Newman migrating closer to the levitating spaces his modern psych-folk contemporaries Jack Rose and Ben Chasny hover over, moving Newman further into his own as an innovator who deserves all of the accolades he receives. (Strange Attractors)