Charlambrides' A Vintage Burden may well be the best album of the year. Forget Destroyer's Rubies, forget Nick Castro, forget the Mae Shi, forget the Little Ones CD that has been blowing my mind lately and all the other absolutely killer records that have and will be coming out this year that you've been loving and wearing out – the Charlambrides have created pure magic.
Having been together for practically forever, it's no surprise that the Charlambrides know what they're doing and have honed their sound. But this is a band – duo now, actually – that is beyond comparison – their shimmering, crystaline sound ascends to the heavens. enchanting and entrancing the listener from start to finish.
Christina Carter's voice is one of the most gorgeous female voices in music today. The songs she sings here to sparse, clean-tone guitar accompaniments are delicate, extraordinarily melodious and lyrically satisfying.
After a suite of songs featuring Christina's dreamy, exquisite, otherwordly vocals, Tom Carter brings the listener deep into a heavy trance trip with the 18-minute gentle psych guitars of "Black Bed Blues" - clean guitars, slide guitars and acoustic guitars working together to bring us into a sleepy, relaxed dreamworld.
The albums draws to a close then with two final tracks featuring Christina Carter's fragile vibrato and whispy soft voice.
Wow! What a masterpiece, a psyche-folk tour de force. If you're unfamiliar The Charlambrides I can't recommend A Vintage Burder highly enough. And if you are already familiar with the band you probably need no encouragement to check this out. Truly wonderful.