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CD Review: The Westport Sunrise Sessions 

click to enlarge 2008, Diablo Dulce Records
  • 2008, Diablo Dulce Records

Wrought by four multi-instrumentalist pals who take perverse pleasure in writing and recording albums over several sleepless, fraught days and nights, The Westport Sunrise Sessions’ second album is a delightfully whiplash-inducing cornucopia. Brooklyn/upstate indie fringe-dwellers Jason Broome (a Chronogram contributor), Robert Kitsos, Lucas Van Lenten, and Daniel Weintrab follow up their debut with more confidently multitasked layers of pop, country folk, found sound, gleeful flourishes of atonality, and disturbing-yet-compelling imagery. Just when you’ve settled into the hum-along ’70s AM radio melody of “The King,” you realize that the narrator is a tyrant. But by then it’s too late and you’re hooked; the WSS boys draw you in to the rocking, tempo-shifting vortex of “Butterfly,” where the insect in question is beautiful, but, sadly, pinned and quite dead. Before long, in the skanking “The Barn’s on Fire,” you are cheek-by-jowl with an unfortunate monkey who has been tricked into a doomed spacecraft. But you are glad to be there. At the end of the album’s 40 minutes, you will listen with rapt attention to the minute-long, rain-falling coda of “Hollywood Green.”

The sound of 2 is all over the place, but hardly diffuse. Although Broome, Kitsos, Van Lenten, and Weintrab all sing and at various times offer everything from drums/bass/guitars/keyboards to clarinet/propane tank/bicycle bell, the record sounds remarkably of a piece. The focus is in the joyful spirit of the endeavor, which holds everything together and lends a contagious and eminently listenable sense of camaraderie to the proceedings.

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  • A review of the second Westport Sunrise Sessions


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