Corrina Repp The Absent and the Distant

Though it should be the music that matters, it is the label that also draws some listeners to make their purchase. If it’s on Asthmatic Kitty, well, it just might be cute indie pop and well, if it’s on Arts & Crafts, well, it just might be good Canadian indie rock. This label, Caldo Verde, is the label of Mark Kozelek, he of Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon. And it only puts out music on the whim of that formidable man. Thus, Corrina Repp must have made one hell of an impression. Luckily, this album is sonic evidence that Kozelek made a very smart decision as Repp’s evocative voice can range from a whisper to a jazzy warble. That, though, is only half the equation, as the surrounding music is enticingly languid and elegiac. The opener, "Song for the Sinking Ship,” is a perfect instrumental warm-up, letting the listener know the drums and guitar are in slow and deliberate hands. The nadir, though, is "Afloat,” where Repp harmonises and, amid the drops of piano and drums, gives forth the emotional intimacy that singers like Sufjan Stevens and Julie Doiron excel in. This is devastating material, but it is also gloriously cathartic. Smart person, that Kozelek. (Border Community)