Inter Arbiter

BY Daniel SylvesterPublished May 25, 2010

Remember the guy who played banjo for Feist on Saturday Night Live back in 2007? No? That's okay, because Wisconsin multi-instrumentalist (My Brightest Diamond, DM Stith) Sebastian Krueger has done much with alter ego Inlets to erase his session sideman label. Releasing his first batch of new music since the free online EP, 2006's The Vestibule, Krueger has focused on his songwriting to the point that Inter Arbiter comes off like the work of an artist aching to prove his worth. Upon first listen, Krueger's debut LP sounds fascinatingly gentle, from his hushed, aluminium delivery of "In Which I, Robert" to the impish, unpolluted chorus of "Maspeth" to the pagan-esque marriage of wood, wind and strings on "Bells and Whistles" (featuring guest musicians Zach Condon of Beirut and Marla Hansen). Inter Arbiter demonstrates a writer so obsessive over arrangement and presentation that the songs lack the ability to connect with the listener.

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