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Gentle Creatures

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Album Review

Given that Tarnation's frontwoman Paula Frazer is best known for her work with the L.A. post-punk band Frightwig — and since Gentle Creatures is, after all, a product of the arty 4AD label — the absolute-torch-and-twang authenticity that defines the record is a wonderful surprise; ethereal yet earthy, the album's strength derives from all of its seeming contradictions. Powered by Frazer's deft songwriting and smoky vocals, Gentle Creatures is melancholy and gorgeous, its love songs and ballads cloaked in reverb and gothic imagery. What Tarnation shares with its 4AD stablemates is an uncanny knack to build and maintain a rich, dense atmosphere; the record is dusky and otherworldly, haunted by the spirits of failed relationships, late-night radio transmissions, and other ghostly presences.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The country art band Tarnation was essentially a vehicle for Paula Frazer, a talented singer and songwriter who returned to roots music only after a successful foray into 1980s post-punk. Frazer was born and raised in Sautee Nacoochee, GA, a tiny community located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, where as a child she sang in her father's church choir, developing a remarkably...
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Gentle Creatures, Tarnation
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