Posted by: Johnny Loftus on October 31, 2007 at 12:45 pm

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SUNSET RUBDOWN, Random Spirit Lover (Jagjaguar, 2007)

Listen: “Stadiums and Shrines II”
[audio:http://www.detour-mag.com/audio/StadiumsAndShrinesII.mp3]

Take a chronological crash course in the works of Spencer Krug — the prolific, porn-stached Montrealian songwriter and member of critical faves Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, Swan Lake and his own Sunset Rubdown — and his obsession with getting lost in dreams materializes behind a plume of magical smoke. He’s hinted at a preoccupation with whimsy in his other bands (his “hungry ghosts” pop up on a few key Wolf Parade tracks), but Krug immerses himself in the stuff on Random Spirit Lover. Magic and mysticism are sprinkled like fairy dust throughout, and Sci-Fi keys crash gleefully into Medieval-inspired melodies that would inspire any young LARPer* to don his cell-foam sword and slash away at his enemies. They’d at least give Mary Timony a run for her money.

Sunset’s song titles suggest would-be fantasy books in their own right. Check the Legend of Zelda soundtrack outtake “Magic Vs. Midas,” the Irish-jigging “Up On Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days,” or the Baroque, Poseidon-baiting nautical jam “Winged/Wicked Things” as examples. The tracks even run together like a mini-novel (a choose-your-own adventure yarn, perhaps?), and a horned, staff-carrying beast man is pictured on the CD’s back cover. Seriously, WTF Krug? Were you raised by Unicorns?

Regardless, when many young, exciting and unpredictable songwriters yearn to be compared to dudes like Dylan and Lennon, Random Spirit Lover may be the only indie release of 2007 to earn comparisons to Rowling and Tolkien, and provide the perfect soundtrack for an intense Magic: the Gathering session. 12-sided dice enthusiasts, put down your spell books and take note of your bardic call. – Ryan Allen

[tags]Sunset Rubdown, Random Spirit Lover, Spencer Krug, LARPer[/tags]

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