Hush Arbors 

Hush Arbors

Hush Arbors is, essentially, the vehicle for singer/songwriter/guitarist/bassist Keith Wood and guitarist Leon Dufficy. While they've been extant for about ten years, this self-titled platter is their Ecstatic Peace debut, and features contribution (guitar) from Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance.

Based in strum-y folk and fuzz-drenched psychedelia, Hush Arbors evokes young Neil Young if Young had emerged from the 1960s Bay Area acid-rock scene instead of Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. Wood intones in a soft, quavering falsetto voice conveying desolation and disconsolation while the acoustic guitar is delicately picked and the electric guitar sizzles, sighs, rages, and/or stings. (No drums or percussion are present.) The songs, all originals, have circular, undulating melodies drawing the listener in, the overall mood contemplative and brooding. Arbors is an absorbing listen, but it would benefit from a tad more variety in shades of mood ("Gone" is the closest track to "rocking" here) and instrumentation. Plus, Wood sometimes sounds as if on the verge of sobbing (which can be a little wearying).

Still, fans of contemporary acid-folkies Marissa Nadler and Faun Fables will be most interested in this. Everybody else, take with a grain of salt and/or a Zoloft prescription. (Ecstatic Peace)

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