Muskox Gallantries

A refreshingly creative and adept collection of "post-minimalist” music, Muskox’s Gallantries calls to mind Sufjan Stevens in his most fluttery instrumental moments, or a dreamier Tortoise devoid of drum shells. Torontonian Michael Smith leads a prodigious pack of musicians through four tracks dripping with creamy Rhodes, swaddled in gauzy layers of harmonium and double bass, punctuated by skittering vibraphone and banjo patterns, with warmly cutting saxophone and pedal-steel leads. The compositions are subtly mathematical, the complexity of arrangements demanding attention without resorting to pretentious showboating. Gallantries is an enticing offering from a promising group, and whatever it lacks in explosive "wow” factor it makes up for in tastefulness and consistency. (Independent)