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Starling Crush
Tea Leaves, Murder And Dreaming
Little Shout Records
www.starlingcrush.com


The duo of vocalist/songwriter Jennifer Glass and guitarist/producer Michael Simone form Starling Crush, an ambient rock outfit with an acoustic-pop bent that bridges the dream-like atmospherics of Radiohead with the folksy riffing of Dar Williams. Starling Crush's latest release Tea Leaves, Murder And Dreaming from Little Shout Records is an amalgam of Colbie Caillat's stylized coffeehouse pop spruced with roosty rock ruminations in the harmonica phrases and gently ambling beats. The duo's songs have a folk-pop base clasped with prairieland-laden hooks and a soft rock tempo reminiscent of Tina Dico. It's an easy listening album that shares traits with the folk-pop set and some attributes that bear a resemblance to orchestral pop and ambient rock bands.

Whatever influenced Starling Crush to make Tea Leaves, Murder And Dreaming, their songs show shades of Americana and roots rock alongside sleekly glazed atmospherics. The soft ruffling of resonating guitar effects along "The One" and "Simple As The Sun" blanket the tunes in calming aesthetics as Glass' vocals spear the chord movements with blunt incisions reflective of The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan. The breezy tempo of "Everyday' is clipped by the simmering spurts of the harmonica, and the marching beat of "Talking To You" is straddled by the extemporaneous musings of the guitar riffs. The smoky ethers of "You Could Be Happy" are cleaved by the shooting wails of the harmonica, and the dragging stride of the acoustic guitar in "Little Shout" has a mesmerizing feel that cradles Glass' vocals softly as she emotes, "I want you to see me." The syncopated beats of "Invisible" have a gypsy feel, and the entangling guitar riffs of "Disappear" have a dreamy texture as Glass professes, "Everything looks the same from here / Don't come any closer now / Don't come any closer / And now I lost my point."

Starling Crush cull magnetic atmospherics with folksy whisked acoustics which form an ambient rock alloy that makes for a sweet coffeehouse stylized pop with a nice kick to it. Tea Leaves, Murder And Dreaming shows the duo in their prime as artists and musicians, and displays the pensive side of folk inspired roots rock.

-Susan Frances

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