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The combination of Scotland psychedelic folksters Trembling Bells and Will Oldham's alt-country/art-damage Appalachia ensures an album that's impossible to predict at the onset. Where will this marriage take us? The duets between Lavinia Blackwall and Oldham range from sympathetic and in-sync to acrimonious. "Ain't Nothing Wrong with a Little Longing" is a match that sounds like Fairport Convention and The Incredible String Band being pinned to the ground by an outlaw garage band. Bakersfield country hides in the piano-laced "I Can Tell You're Leaving." The a cappella "My Husband's Got No Courage in Him" seems to fall under "field recording" status, while Oldham's classic "Riding" gets a makeover that takes it out of its outback lonesome travels and airmails it to San Francisco circa 1967. A cover of Robin Gibb's "Lord Bless All" turns gloomy and foreboding. The Marble Downs could be a challenge to those who've landed here by accident; however, fans of both camps surely know to expect lots of moody meandering.


Formed: 2008 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Folk-Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Glasgow's eclectic Trembling Bells were founded in early 2008 by drummer Alex Neilson, an improviser who has played with Jandek, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, and Current 93, among others. Neilson formed the group in order to explore more structured, song-based music, and recruited vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Lavinia Blackwall (who worked with Neilson in the group Directing Hand), bassist/vocalist Simon Shaw (also of Lucky Luke), and guitarist/harmonica player Ben Reynolds (who played with Neilson in...
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