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Black Foliage: Animation Music (Remastered)

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iTunes Review

In 2004, The Olivia Tremor Control’s frontman and mastermind Bill Doss was able to re-release 1999’s Black Foliage: Animation Music in a remastered version. These songs looked toward Brian Wilson’s late-'60s experimental symphonic pop with The Beach Boys. “A Peculiar Noise Called ‘Train Director’” opens with better separation between the instruments, and its radiant vocal harmonies sound pristine and upfront as The Elephant 6 collective’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink instrumentation whizzes panoramically across your speakers with psychedelic results. The standout song “Hideaway” eschews antics for a straightforward sunshine-pop song in the spirit of The Millennium and Sagittarius. “California Demise 3” makes good on its title with another gem, reflecting the luminescence of bygone West Coast guitar pop arranged with multilayered harmonies and an orchestra of random instruments. “Hilltop Procession (Momentum Gaining)” hints at influences from John Lennon and Syd Barrett, which Doss (who unexpectedly died in 2012) would later pursue with his less experimental band The Sunshine Fix.

Customer Reviews

iTunes done goofed

This is an excellent album. My only problem is that iTunes messed and didn't properly include Black Foliage (Animation 4). Instead, I get A Place We Have Been To twice, one with the title Black Foliage (Animation 4).

The perfect followup to 'Dusk at Cubist Castle'

Although only releasing two albums in their short career, the Olivia Tremor Control managed to cover miles of musical and studio innovation. 'Dusk at Cubist Castle' was a flavorful combination of beatles-esque pop rock with 90s neo-psychadelica. Listening to this album left me a bit confused and disappointed at first. Many of the straightforward pop singles like 'Jumping Fences' and 'The Opera House' are absent from 'Black Foliage'. Fortunately, the more I listened, the more I realized how ingenious the group's colorful progression had become. The sound collages hinted at in their previous album are fully fleshed out and weave in and out of the group's evolving recordings. While there may not be a strategic or logical manner of doing so, I urge you to immerse yourself into 'Black Foliage' and soak up all of Olivia's quirky perspectives and eclectic musical efforts.


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, where they struck up friendships...
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