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Meredith Bragg and The Terminals: Vol. 1

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Album Review

"An inquiry into the nature of pressure waves through eleven songs by Meredith Bragg with his band the Terminals Vol. 1," reads the cover of Bragg's debut album, printed in what has been made to resemble a printing style from the 18th century or earlier, on the rough brown-cardboard CD packaging. The archaic style is continued inside, as each song title is prefaced by a chapter number in Roman numerals and Bragg is credited for "Voice, Wood Guitar Accompanyment," etc. All of this helps set the listener up for the music itself, which prominently features Bragg and that wood guitar, which he strums and picks while singing in a becalmed voice. There are other instruments, provided by the Terminals, Brian Minter on "Pianoforte, Vibraphonic Devices," Elizabeth Olson on cello, Jonathan Roth on "Percussive Instrumynts." But they just add color. The real show is Bragg, whose singing is somewhat reminiscent of Ben Folds, though his introspective, fragmentary lyrics are not nearly as obvious. Bragg is wistful and reflective, which earns him comparisons with Elliott Smith and even Nick Drake. Things never get quite as dire as they do with those songwriters, however. In fact, Bragg seems to be something of an optimist in his own quiet way. But thus far he hasn't found a balance between evocativeness and obscurity; in the same way, the packaging of his album aims at coming off as classic, but instead seems simultaneously pretentious and generic.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

East Coast singer/songwriter Meredith Bragg crafts atmospheric chamber pop with an indie rock sensibility. An aspiring musician since the eighth grade, Bragg is supported by his longtime backing band, the Terminals, a trio featuring cellist Elizabeth Olson, drummer Jon Roth, and keyboardist Brian Minter. The quartet signed to Kora Records in 2005 to release their...
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Meredith Bragg and The Terminals: Vol. 1, Meredith Bragg
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