Remambran, Remambran

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In the spirit of being sick of trying to keep up with the latest'n'greatest, I have decided this last sunny-gone-cloudy Sunday to write another review about a tape from last year. If it helps explain, I didn't know this existed until about a week ago when I found a copy on the shelf of Growler Records (Denver's latest'n'greatest little record shop in the back of Yellow Feather Coffee) and bought it on a whim for five bones based on how cool the packaging looked. And hey, Remambran has a more recent release up for grabs on the label's Bandcamp you can check out too, so the least this review could do is turn readers onto something that's definitely still a project-in-progress. Anyway, there's never a bad time to enjoy, think about, then write about any release from any time, especially if it's as special as Remambran's self-titled release here.

The quick review: About as much sweetness and tenderness you could fit into two sides of a cassette tape is available within Remambran's self-titled effort.

The long(er) review: Remambran comes from songstress Mallory Watje, who remains in the spotlight throughout both sides of this wonderful collection of songs. Charmingly airy and lined with the light hiss of a… well, a cassette tape, it's transportive to my days of listening to the little battery powered stereo out at the cabin near Chena Hot Springs, Alaska. It's got the crackle of the flickering fire pit, the babble of the neighboring brook swiftly washing over the rocks, and a cool breeze floating through the pines. An acoustic feel fills the record though it sounds like much was recorded using electric instruments—guitars, bass, harmonium and through a lot of it, drums. Watje and co. ride these songs out with slippery lines and heartbreaking melodies. Her chin seems firmly palm-ridden throughout, the other hand clinging to a splintery no. 2 pencil perhaps, dreamily scribbling the day's memories, some of them kind of happy but mostly slighting to the side of gentle melancholy. With the mousey chirp of Joanna Newsom, the tunefulness of Phil Elverum, and the two combined in smart dual-tracked harmonies, Watje and her band sparkle in this sun-shower of a listen. Given that it's available for free digitally on Bandcamp, I don't really see why you'd miss the chance to get lost in this one as I have over and over again. A nice break from the exceedingly “out” stuff we typically cover here at the Tome, Remambran is an easy dip in an outrageously comfortable pond of simplistic songdom that's hard not to instantly fall in love with.