MV and EE

MV and EE

MV and EE

Barn Nova

Ecstatic Peace

Freewheeling Vermont duo MV & EE’s new album of autumnal cosmic ruminations (out on Thurston Moore’s usually skronky Ecstatic Peace label) is a smoky brew of smoldering lead guitar splinters, rollicking country rock specters, and blissed-out mantras — all at THE VERY SAME TIME. The prolific MV & EE hew a path somewhat similar to Brightblack Morning Light and Charalambides, only they’re less frazzled than the former and a little more conscientious in the service of song than the latter. And yet this ain’t slick by a damn country mile: Barn Nova takes a few listens to fully digest — it’s all in the layers and the subtleties. Neil Young looms large, both in MV’s lonesome warble and the overall air of wintry forest darkness, as does J Mascis in the tumbling, doleful lead guitar noodling; the rest is a steady twilit groove, sad blues and murder ballads.

“Snapperhead” is a hazy, stoned, echoey ramble — like prime early Royal Trux with a softer Appalachian edge and choral-style vocals. “Wandering Nomad” is a rapturous explosion narrowed down through lo-fi recording, all prismatic bursts of sunshine electric guitar, with an easy bass-drums doom rhythm and a heavily-treated vocal from EE, fully alien. “Fully Tanked” and “You Feel” are killer folk-country idyll and particle-cloud space rock, respectively, but overlaid with so much non sequitur guitar doodling that the whole thing almost becomes a very groovy and benign musique concrete collage — or radio stations merging into one another. Not to worry, though, the boy/girl vocals are beyond delicate and keening.

Ecstatic Peace:

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