Espers – III

January 01, 1970



Espers tend to be lumped in with what’s popularly known
these days as the freak folk elite, a group of shoe-gazing Birkenstock types
that satisfy their collective muse via acoustic guitars, idyllic imagery and an
atmospheric ambiance.  Like their like-minded
contemporaries — Vetiver, Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom among them – Espers
place the emphasis more on mood than melody, procuring dreamy, drifting
soundscapes that find equal footing with a vague psychedelic haze.


Nevertheless, Espers’ loose allegiance to tradition
ultimately makes III their most
orthodox effort yet.  Meg Baird’s forlorn
vocals bring to mind such quaint minstrels as Judy Collins, Shirley Collins,
June Tabor, the Incredible String Band, and all the others who found their
calling in meandering melancholia. As suggested in song titles like “I Can See
Clear,” “The Road of Golden Dust” and “Another Mood Song,” these tunes amble
along with a gentle lilt and a heavy-lidded perspective, as effortlessly
seductive as a sunset serenade. Still, they never completely let down their
guard; those craving a compelling chorus or recurring riff will find these
meditative verses aloof, evasive and yet inexplicably intriguing. 


“I Can See Clear,” “The Road of Golden Dust” LEE ZIMMERMAN




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