Charalambides Unknown Spin

Husband and wife duo Christina and Tom Carter have been recording under the Charalambides moniker since 1991, occasionally expanding to include other wayfaring improvisers. The recent addition of Heather Leigh Murray on pedal steel and vocals has been the most hand-in-glove of fits so far. Unknown Spin is the sound of a new relationship developing on a cross country road trip — like the Trans-Canada in Ontario, the landscape is superficially uniform and unremarkable, but inside the car the travellers are transformed moment to moment. Tom Carter’s guitar playing is deliberately minimalist and narrow in variation, but more is wrung from those few repeated notes than from the most grandstanding of improvisations. Christina Carter and Heather Murray’s wordless vocals find each other like circling hawks above the arid landscape of skeletal electric and pedal steel. The four pieces yield more and more upon repeated listens, and that’s the recommended dosage: repeat till empty. (Kranky)