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Nine Lucid Dreams

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Album Review

Seattle has been synonymous with alternative rock since the late '80s and early '90s; it was Seattle and nearby areas in Washington State that gave us Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Tad, the Melvins, Green River, Alice in Chains, Hole, Mudhoney, the Foo Fighters, Screaming Trees, and Mother Love Bone, among many others. But being Seattle-based and being part of alternative rock doesn't necessarily mean being a part of grunge; Two Loons for Tea have been part of the Seattle scene since the '90s, and their adult alternative pop/rock is far from grunge. Instead, this duo has much more in common with the Cocteau Twins, Massive Attack, Portishead, and early Lush than it does with Pearl Jam or the Foo Fighters; instead of getting inspiration from metal, hard rock, or hardcore, Two Loons for Tea have been incorporating elements of jazz, cabaret, ambient electronica, soul and world music. That approach worked well for lead singer Sarah Scott and guitarist/keyboardist/background singer Jonathan Kochmer (the Seattle residents who comprise Two Loons for Tea) in the early to mid-2000s, and it continues to work well for them on 2007's Nine Lucid Dreams. As usual, Scott and Kochmer are joined by a long list of guest musicians; no less than 14 different players join them on this 47-minute CD, although not simultaneously. The personnel on Nine Lucid Dreams varies from track to track, but regardless of who is or isn't joining them on a particular song, there is never any doubt that Scott and Kochmer are the ones in command — and Scott's lead vocals are very much the focal point on appealing, dusky items such as "Eyebrows Are Nature's Makeup," "Monkey," "Toxic Shellfish in the Sun," and the Latin-tinged "Consuela." Creatively, Two Loons for Tea don't lose anything at all on Nine Lucid Dreams.

Customer Reviews

interesting, multi-genre

All twelve songs are worth a listen. Others stand out due to their unique vocal or instrumental variation. Scott’s vocals are haunting and powerful, especially on Waiting, Strongest Man in the World, and Eyebrows Are Nature’s Makeup. These three songs are also lyrically strong. Consuela is the only track on Nine Lucid Dreams where Kochmer takes on vocal responsibilities. This song sounds like a poetry reading with Mexican western/spy flick musical accompaniment, making it the most experimental tune on this album. Dixie It Up! is a short old fashioned-sounding ditty. Nine Lucid Dreams is a strong album that gets better with each listen. This time around, Scott and Kochmer decided to record in Texas, rather than in their Seattle home base. It is clear that the change in scenery infused the music on this album with a little salsa and picante. Nine Lucid Dreams is an example in improvisation, risk-taking, and experimentation - more admirable qualities than sticking with what you know and doing what’s easy. It’s a job well done by an intelligent and talented duo.

Occasionally ethereal but always musically coherent...

Occasionally ethereal but always musically coherent, with a lead singer whose voice is full and lush but not so perfect it deadens you. The tunes are catchy and beautiful and the orchestration is very, very smart. But don't start thinking you know something: some of the tracks are not like the others. This band can go strange all of a sudden -- for example with an oddly successful song called "Dixie it Up" for example. One of their more typical pieces, "Toxic Shellfish in the Sun" (Track 10) is worth the price of the whole CD. But you really should buy the whole album, it's a real treat.

not televised

although nine lucid dreams loses steam as the end of the album approaches it sustains a very solid follow up to looking for landmarks. with zero7 putting out a crummy album and portishead dragging their feet and instuments slowly through the dirt, two loons is a good alternative and at the moment the only trip/hop/lounge/soul album I can wrap my ears around.


Formed: Seattle, WA

Genre: Pop/Rock

Years Active: '00s

Two Loons for Tea is a duo consisting of singer Sarah Scott and instrumentalist Jonathan Kochmer. The duo came together when Switzerland-born Kochmer moved to Seattle after spending years studying biostatistics and evolutionary biology. Scott, who was originally from San Francisco, moved to Washington after a lifetime filled with music due to her parents' ties to the California rock scene. After arriving in Seattle, the two met through a mutual friend and began performing Kochmer's original material...
Full Bio
Nine Lucid Dreams, Two Loons For Tea
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Customer Ratings