Elk City Status

This New York trio is a new incarnation of Melting Hopefuls, with Peter Langland-Hassan on guitars and Renee LoBue sharing the vocals, and Ray Ketchem on drums and production. All are involved in the composition and recording, a two-year process for this debut, resulting in strong coherence throughout. This shares a number of sensibilities with Yo La Tengo, replacing Kaplan guitar indulgences with a musical equivalence of mystical folklore. Some moments on this album are incredible; "Freeze Two Over Eight" has Peter and Renee yelling at each other from what sounds like separate rooms. The champagne toast occurs after "Fall Out of Reach," where Peter threatens to "quit the band, move to Spain and change his name," hopefully not before touring this summer. (Hidden Agenda)