Summer at Shatter Creek Summer at Shatter Creek

It doesn’t take long to realise that Craig Gurwich — the man behind Summer at Shatter Creek — isn’t happy. The album’s heartbreaking opener "Home for the Holidays,” a rich blend of folk, country, and lo-fi indie, sets the pace for the rest of this impressive debut. Gurwich plays every instrument on the album and does all of the recording and production, so to say he had a degree of control over the sound is an obvious understatement. Far from being polished, though, this is a collection of rough, beautiful songs that certainly aren’t shy on the reverb and tape hiss. With the slow tempos, subtle keyboard melodies, slide guitar and piano accompaniment, it comes out sounding like a late-night campfire singsong with Jason Lytle from Grandaddy and Jason Pierce from Spiritualized. There is an obvious lack of feel-good material here, but the album has real soul. Don’t let the title of "My Neighbor’s Having a Seizure” fool you — this is a tender, moving ballad, albeit with a morose theme. Gurwich’s fragile voice is perfectly suited to the music he creates, and the nine songs on the album are a bittersweet pleasure. (Absolutely Kosher)