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Presents: Singles And Beyond

The Olivia Tremor Control

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Album Review

Singles and Beyond, as the title suggests, collects most of the material the Olivia Tremor Control released before their first full-length, Dusk at Cubist Castle. Although the "band sound" is still coalescing, apparently all the ingredients were in place even from the start. Sure, there's plenty of solid guitar pop/psych in store, but many of the more experimental aspects of the band (that are often released under other names like Black Swan Network or Frosted Ambassador) are also in place. Also in place is a vague "concept" of sorts, which not only links these tunes to their later, full-length recordings but provides a sense of cohesion often lacking in singles compilations. These guys are true masters of home recording; most of these tracks were recorded at their various abodes on four-track machines. Whether it's the tastefully bizarre production touches at the end of "Fireplace" or the Burroughs-ian cutup technique of "Christmas With William S.," the Olivia Tremor Control not only know what they want, but they know how to achieve it as well; no small feat for home recorders. Since Elephant 6 bands tend to release material on a variety of labels with a variety of formats, Singles and Beyond is a welcome addition for folks who missed out the first time around.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Athens, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

As much a concept as a band, the Olivia Tremor Control was one of the most visible and innovative members of the Elephant 6 collective, a coterie of like-minded, lo-fi indie groups — including the Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Secret Square — who shared musicians, ideas, and sensibilities. The Olivia Tremor Control was led by singers/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Will Cullen Hart and Bill Doss, natives of the small, isolated town of Ruston, Louisiana,...
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