Calico Horse: Mirror 

With Pall Jenkins of The Black Heart Procession on board as producer, Calico Horse is the latest band to join San Diego's entourage of soundscape-oriented acts with the release of their debut album Mirror. Holding true to the existential gloom of their producer, Mirror offers an eerie melange of the delicate vocals of frontwoman Emily Neveu accompanied by an array of droning guitars and washed-out keyboards. Neveu's haunting poetry offers glimpses of a cryptically dark and beautiful world, not dissimilar to the vision of Metallic Falcons, if not as experimentally inclined. Still, the music is unabashedly bizarre, drifting from harmonized choral movements to sea shanty waltzes—progressive but never losing the compellingly delicate touch of Neveu's voice. Brooding and gray, Mirror meanders sometimes without a clear direction, but never substitutes randomness for creativity like so much music saturating the indie scene in recent years.

In recording Mirror, Calico Horse spent an intermittent year in the studio with Jenkins. The attention to detail is noticeable, and each song has a finely tuned and well-crafted feel. Already, Calico Horse has gone far in establishing themselves in indie currents beyond Southern California, playing shows alongside notable acts from across the country such as Beach House and The Helio Sequence, as well as The Album Leaf. In all, Mirror is a rewarding listen, but demands a patient ear, as this surreal journey takes multiple listens to appreciate the nuances.

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