Harris Newman Decorated

Moody and beautiful, Decorated is a compelling collection of steel-string guitar explorations by Montreal’s Harris Newman. Best known for mastering albums by Montreal-based bands like Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire and Constellation Records artists, Newman himself is a musical force, contributing to Hrsta, Sackville and Triple Burner. This third solo album contains a powerful array of music, from meditative, Fahey-esque finger picking to swells of textured noise and avant-garde wanderlust. Newman begins with "Our Cavalcade of Sightless Riders,” a moody, shifting piece that eventually huffs its way into manic blues, and by "The Malarial Two-Step” there’s a good gust of wind in Newman’s sails. "Blues for Vilhelm” radically shifts the record, as a sheet of electric sound bellows forth, pulsating but intangible after the experimental precision of Newman’s acoustic fingering. That feel dips in and out again, however the most memorable moment features a downpour of electric guitar and drummer Eric Craven on "Opera House Stomp.” Dense and intricate, Decorated is a masterful display. (Strange Attractors)