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Harmonium

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Album Review

They never broke through beyond a tiny but devoted audience, but the short-lived dream pop outfit Denali released two swell albums' worth of moody, trip-hop-influenced indie rock that flirted with Fugazi-style post-hardcore. Happily, the new trio Glös is in many ways a Denali reunion, but with its power balance shifted: the key figures in this band are multi-instrumentalist songwriters Keeley Davis (who'd played synth in Denali) and Cornbread Compton (Davis' partner in the late emo stalwarts Engine Down), with Denali's lead singer and prime mover Maura Davis (Keeley's sister) helping with lyrics and vocals on songs that were almost entirely complete before she was drafted into the project. No matter: Maura's alluring vocals (think of Portishead's Beth Gibbons, Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino and the less shrieky side of Deerhoof's Satomi Matsuzaki) remain the band's most appealing feature. Keeley takes close to half of the lead vocals for himself, however, which is a bit disappointing for hardcore Denali fans but in no way lessens the album's impact. Shifting easily between aggressive post-hardcore riffing and atmospheric washes of near-abstract keyboard sounds, Harmonium stays perfectly balanced between those two seemingly disparate styles.

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Richmond, VA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Although Glös is a supergroup of sorts, with all three of its members having extensive credits in other current and former bands, it's also an organic family unit comprised of a brother and sister and their longtime friend. Glös began in 2005, when guitarist Keeley Davis and drummer Cornbread Compton were casting about for a new project after their previous band, the prolific emo act Engine Down, split up amicably. Living in different cities, Davis and Compton primarily collaborated over the Internet,...
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Harmonium, Glös
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