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coverpic flag US - Florida - Full Moon 169 - 06/26/10

The Atlantic Manor
The World Beneath This World Is Brightening
Do Too Records

"These songs were recorded quickly. There were no rehearsals involved. This is lo-fi outsider d.i.y. The American underground is alive and well. Go start your own band and make the world a better place." (R. Sell)

R. Sell is The Atlantic Manor. During the last decade he's put out a number of CDs. The World Beneath This World Is Brightening is his 11th record since 2001 (almost competing Robert Pollard). The Atlantic Manor (TAM) wander the paths of obscurity, but for sure deserves something more. Because this is very, very good stuff. Appealing, touching, reflective songs filled with (comforting) sadness. Lo-fi-psych-folk-ambient-country-drones but within limits. Listening to The World Beneath This World Is Brightening makes me think of The Velvet Underground (or Reed, and/or Cale solo - or both, imagine Songs for Drella's calmest parts), Bedhead and Galaxie 500. Others have mentioned Songs:Ohia/Jason Molina/Magnolia Electric Co., Clem Snide, Hayden, Damien Rice, or a lo-fi Neil Young. His voice (sometimes) even makes me think of Roky Erickson! Yes. And you could probably name-drop many more.

Name-dropping aside, The Atlantic Manor for sure steer clear of copying and plagiarism. The World... holds nine tracks, and even though some editing would have made a stronger album (it's an hour of music), this is most charming and proper record. Sell also pen poetic lyrics (as well as album/song titles; like On the Wrong Side of a Saturday Night, Slow Drugs And Other Sorrows, or The Desperate Vibe Of Emotional Devastation). The opening "Openings"'s little kid singing e-i-e-i-o (from Old MacDonald had...) goes over to the beautifully, slow floating "Vessels", lasting nearly 15 minutes. The track "The Captains Name Was Death" is really a skin-crawler. Imagine Neil Young collaborating with Bedhead. Other favourites are "Deathcrown", the VU-ish "Apple Dreams", and of course the long stretched (a bit too long, maybe) title track. Not to forget the great, epic (yes, another one -- when you think it'll finish it's only halfway through) closing track, "Black River Runs", which ends down by the riverside.

As someone noted on the Atlantic manor: "...some of the greatest songs you have never heard...lo-fi pop drone masterpieces that will break your heart". Or, as R. Sell states on his site: "I hope the record finds a happy home in your collection." So do I.

BTW, thanks for the tee-shirt!

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