February 7, 2008

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Ex Reverie, The Door Into Summer
Drag City Records, Jan. 22
When music this sparse, innocent and uncluttered comes in it’s like watching a rider on a 5-speed bicycle cruise by chasing a school of yuppies on Segways. There are more sinister possibilities to explain away this cello, dulcimer and Butthole Surfers-guitar-driven ren-fair glam-folk, the most obvious being an attempt to grind out a few shekels on whatever is going on in the North Philadelphia college scene, but a cross between Rasputina, a Cranberries demo tape and 10,000 Maniacs wouldn’t be many people’s idea of a quick-buck hack job.

Singer/multi-instrumentalist/quasi-witchiepoo Gillian Chadwick’s carving herself a unique little niche with this project, and given the album’s old-school-college-rock trappings her timing may be perfect. B- — E. W. S.