Crushed Stars – Convalescing in Braille

January 01, 1970

(Simulacra Records)


Even with good intentions (on the part of the song writer), Nena’s
“99 Red Balloons” and/or “Luftballons” is so annoying that the darned thing
kept me from looking into Todd Gautreau, aka Crushed Stars — or hearing that
he’d covered the song did. Little did I realize he’d brought forth every dreamy
nuance in the song’s folds. Gautreau could probably rework and perform the
phone book and get people to listen.


Previous project Tear Ceremony explored ambient electronics that
owed no small debt to Cluster and Eno. For lack of a better handle, CS veers into
Poppier territory. The compositions have changes, generally clocking in at
around four minutes, and are mildly extroverted. Much of which might add up to
Dream Pop were it not for the restraint and love of space with which Gautreau
edits the beauty he unleashes. Bathed in gorgeous guitar washes, it’s somewhere
near the sweetly moody neighborhoods of Innocence Mission and Bare Trees/Future Games-era Fleetwood


Convalescing in
(like the Nena cover, the title was at first a bit off-putting: as
in, “What does that MEAN? Seems pretentious…”) But Gautreau is the kind of intuitive
eccentric to whom one tends to throw a wide rein, at least after experiencing
what he does with all the freedom upon which he capitalizes on this
effervescent offering. It’s just right for this rainy day, as it would be for
hung-over Sundays, drives through tree-lined highways, and lakeside picnics. 


DOWNLOAD:  “Eyeliner,” “Frost on Wires,” “Ocean” MARY LEARY



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