- the habsburg jaw
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Part experimental indie and part ‘70s soft rock, Califone’s first record in three years finds creative force Tim Rutili reaching new levels of harmony, fragility, and confidence. With recording sessions in four different cities and a cadre of hyper-talented collaborators (here including longtime cohorts Ben Massarella, Michael Krassner, Rachel Blumberg, Max Knouse and Brian Deck, as well as the likes of Nora O'Connor and Finom's Macie Stewart) villagers' nine compositions stretch out just as far, incorporating elements of classic radio pop and electronic experimentation into the mix.
Whether detailing aging goths retaining their identity through year-long spooky decorations (“Halloween”), an imagined conversation with an inbred monarch (“Habsburg Jaw”), or the conflicts between identity and technology (“Ox-Eye”), Villagers’ nine tracks spread out and luxuriates in the messy darkness of modern life. Like sitting in awe on the porch swing at the end of the world, Califone’s latest marvels at the edge of the universe spreading into the darkness of infinity.