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Powerfully evocative, Roadkill Ghost Choir’s debut shines

Album review: Roadkill Ghost Choir’s ‘In Tongues’

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Roadkill Ghost Choir
In Tongues
Greatest Hiss Records
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

One of the best, most complete acts to emerge from the area finally unveils their long-awaited debut full-length. Between their introductory work (2013’s Quiet Light EP) and this highly anticipated release, the young DeLand group has gone from local star to national breakout with high-profile tours and appearances at major festivals and even on Letterman. Under producer Doug Boehm (Dr. Dog, Girls, the Vines, French Kicks), very professional treatment is given to what has long been a finished band. But for all its body and clarity, the album’s clean framing has buffed out a good bit of Roadkill’s texture, heft and mystique – an alluring tone that was beautifully set by Quiet Light, an entirely local creation. In Tongues is the fruit of quality production. But in terms of fit, it’s a tame setting for a powerfully evocative diamond like Roadkill Ghost Choir.

Luckily, to the band’s credit, their songwriting carries the day across highlights like the interstate glide of “Slow Knife,” the sailing twang of “Down & Out,” the Dead Confederate thunderclap of “A Blow to the Head,” the gorgeous twilight of “Womb” and the wide-winged soar of “Lazarus, You’ve Been Dreaming.” Stroked with spectral pedal-steel curls and symphonic flourishes, their lush, haunting American folk-rock shines like the moon through an oak canopy – moody, mysterious and enchanted.

Roadkill Ghost Choir performs Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Social with Saskatchewan and Henry Toland, $10-$12.

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