The Olms The Olms
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- by Beck ~ Morning Phase ~ $11.68
- Label: Harvest
- 1.On the Line
- 2.Someone Else's Girl
- 3.Twice as Nice
- 4.Wanna Feel It
- 5.A Bottle of Wine Etc.
- 6.Another Day Dream
- 7.Rise n Shine
- 8.What Can I Do?
- 9.She Said No
- 10.Only One Way
Personnel: J.D. King (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, cello, flute, bansuri, accordion, concertina, clarinet, bass clarinet, trumpet, piano, electric piano, electric organ, synthesizer, cowbells, cymbals, Jew's harp, hand claps, Theremin, background vocals); Pete Yorn (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, organ, drums, tambourine, hand claps, percussion, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: J.D. King.
Recording information: King's Ranch, Bel Air, CA (2011-2012).
Illustrator: J.D. King.
Photographers: Liam Ward; J.D. King; Jim Wright; Beth Kaltman; Linda Ramone.
As a member of the Olms, Pete Yorn takes some time off from the stress of trying to make a living in the music biz to make some good, low-key music instead. Working together with his friend J.D. King, Yorn has never sounded better. For their debut self-titled album, Yorn and King wrote the songs as a team, trade off vocals, and play all the instruments. Together they've crafted an album that's extremely organic and relaxed, with layers of acoustic and electric instruments creating a nice warmth and giving the sound some depth. King especially helps fill out the arrangements as he shows prowess on a wide range of instruments, including jew's harp, clarinet, cello, and concertina. Pitched somewhere between easygoing country rock and simple '60s pop, the songs have plenty of hooks and rambling charm. A couple tracks (the bubblegummy folk rocker "Twice as Nice," the yearning "Wanna Feel It") sound like what Wilco might have if they had no artistic pretensions; the ballads ("Rise and Shine," "Another Daydream') are filled with a carefully detailed ache, and the truly lovely "Someone Else's Girl" probably would have been a hit single in 1966. No matter the style of song, the guys sing of melanchony heartbreak and sadness, but in a casually resigned way that makes it seem like the pain is filtered through a pair of lightly tinted sunglasses. There's a very autumnal feel to the sound and the songs, made more impressive by the uncharacteristic restraint Yorn shows here. His vocals are very much of a piece of the sound instead of being way out front, and it suits him very well. King's vocal features are a little less successful, as his affected country drawl on "She Said No" is a little jarring. In fact, the entire song, with its tale of murder and woe, is a little out of place among the sweet and simple songs that surround it. It's a minor blip on an otherwise excellent album by two guys who have discovered the transformative power that can be derived from collaboration. ~ Tim Sendra
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