Shotgun & Jaybird Dawson Towne Recordings

There is a vicarious thrill in hearing a four-track experiment in all its clumsy glory. These somewhat mysterious Dawson Towne Recordings give the sense of stumbling upon summer labourers as they stumble upon songwriting. The little vignettes are sometimes morose and sometimes utterly goofy, but they accurately convey the transient happiness of a Yukon summer. No one listed in the minimal liner notes admits to vocals, though they are pleasantly slack. Lyrics are understated and tend toward stream of consciousness, yielding almost by accident a surprising gem — the achingly poignant "Spill Yer Lungs.” Sung into the echo of a bare room, so lightly sketched by banjo and electric guitar that it feels insubstantial, this song carries an emotional weight that is worth the entire album. (Independent)