7 Songs, 25 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On its sophomore album, the San Francisco–based Needle creates contemplative music that adds a distinctly spiritual element to the sort of spare, haunting sound that the likes of Cowboy Junkies and Opal pioneered in the ‘80s. Recorded next door to a church in a small California desert town, St. Timothy’s has a melancholy quality that somehow never descends into despair. Julia Sea’s gossamer vocals and brooding keyboard work are underscored by Steve Beck’s distortion-tinged guitar colors. The two of them create tracks of eerie beauty, framing lyrics that wrestle with soul-deep angst while reaching out to a higher power. The languid flow of “Oceans” and the bittersweet, string-accented title tune seem to both embrace the darkness and hold out hope of escaping it. The somber pipe organ tones of “The Plan” underscore its hymnlike mood, while “Far” has the yearning folk-country feel of a long-lost Neil Young tune. While Needles’ tunes never quite cast off their pervasive gloom, St. Timothy's achieves a moody sort of tenderness that strikes deeper than easy optimism.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On its sophomore album, the San Francisco–based Needle creates contemplative music that adds a distinctly spiritual element to the sort of spare, haunting sound that the likes of Cowboy Junkies and Opal pioneered in the ‘80s. Recorded next door to a church in a small California desert town, St. Timothy’s has a melancholy quality that somehow never descends into despair. Julia Sea’s gossamer vocals and brooding keyboard work are underscored by Steve Beck’s distortion-tinged guitar colors. The two of them create tracks of eerie beauty, framing lyrics that wrestle with soul-deep angst while reaching out to a higher power. The languid flow of “Oceans” and the bittersweet, string-accented title tune seem to both embrace the darkness and hold out hope of escaping it. The somber pipe organ tones of “The Plan” underscore its hymnlike mood, while “Far” has the yearning folk-country feel of a long-lost Neil Young tune. While Needles’ tunes never quite cast off their pervasive gloom, St. Timothy's achieves a moody sort of tenderness that strikes deeper than easy optimism.

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