Samara Lubelski Spectacular of Passages

Samara Lubelski has been a long-standing pillar of New York’s experimental music scene, as a member of the Tower Recordings, Metabolismus and Hall of Fame, as a solo violinist, and as a recording engineer, with such cutting-edge groups as Double Leopards and Black Dice. Last year she made her debut as a solo songwriter with the outstanding and sadly overlooked The Fleeting Skies. Spectacular of Passages is a direct descendent of that album, continuing in her hushed and understatedly poppy psych-folk vein. This time around, Lubelski’s homespun splendour is even more understated and delicate; the melodies so muted and gentle they barely surface at all, but this only makes Passages a deeper listen — the kind that stirs a while in your subconscious before emerging in your senses as a magnificently tender experience. Slight flourishes of extravagant instrumentation, from baroque flutes to Hammond organ to vibraphone to clavinette, only add to this affair’s enchanting air of mysticism. Perhaps we’ll have to wait 30 years for Samara Lubelski to receive her due, like Vashti Bunyan did, but she certainly deserves to be mentioned in the same breaths as Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and Jana Hunter. (Social Registry)