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  Fall Sounds
Artist: Velour100
Label: Tooth and Nail Records
Length: 10 Tracks, 44:33

Striking a balance between experimental ambience and gentle folk melodies, Fall Sounds is both a peaceful and intriguing record. Capturing the Autumn season into music, Velourís 1996 debut on Tooth and Nail is full of wispy, encircling guitars, lightly ringing cymbals, very subtle keys, and sparkling piano pieces, all warmly wrapped around Amon Kristís delicate female voice.

The songs link beautiful imagery with vulnerable reflections of emotion and thought. Itís like daydreaming put into song. The record evokes these sort of images. Looking out of an open window, watching leaves drift slowly to the ground as the trees sway gently in a cool breeze, the smell of a recent, fresh rainfall lingering in the air, all your
thoughts are turned inward and following your heart wherever it wanders. These songs have come straight from the soul of the songwriter-- very personal, poetic, and intelligent. Songs about the pain of lost time, the struggle with and the emptiness of lust, and holding on to hope even as others around us let go and drift away...the themes are melancholy, but never strictly depressing. They evoke reminiscence and self-speculation.

Most of the songs are traced with just enough melody to make them memorable, but they are not the kind of songs you could easily sing along to- the record is closer stylistically to shoegazer/noise rock than it is to melodic pop. This is music meant purely for quiet listening. The airy atmosphere carries you away like a leaf in the wind, and where it takes you is unexpected and fulfilling, from the rockier, upbeat "Autumn Shelter" and "Flourish," the quiet sentiments of "Calender" and "Evergreen," and the beautiful, rapid piano play of "Breeze."

Unlike many other female-lead bands, Kristís vocals do not take center stage. Her echoing, soft spoken words add an ethereal feel that helps underscore the recordís ambience, but she does not overpower the other aspects of the record. This was a bandís effort, in other words- they could not have achieved the level of depth musically that they have otherwise.

A great record from beginning to end; a classic if ever there was one.

Jonathan Avants  3/14/2005



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