Venice Is Sinking – Azar

January 01, 1970

(One Percent Press)



Azar‘s understated
charms blossom gradually. The album, the second full-length from Athens, GA’s
Venice Is Sinking, at first floats by innocuously, with Daniel Lawson murmuring
his vocals as if he has barely enough strength to stand at the microphone and
with several instrumental interludes that rely on atmosphere more than melody.
But Azar turns out to be full of
subtle details. It’s a chamber pop delight, for those of us who delight in



Lawson, on guitars and vintage keyboards, shares the front
line with Karolyn Troupe, and her viola, flute and cooing voice give weight and
gravity-and real beauty-to these songs. Partly because of those interludes
(every third track is an instrumental “Azar”) and partly because a six-minute
song such as “Iron Range” might contain two minutes of vocals, Azar is best digested as a meditative,
instrumental work. But that’s not quite right, either: with intermittent
trumpets, organs and simple drum machines, “Wetlands Dancehall” and others
burble until they bubble over, and in “Okay,” the band constructs a strummy,
tumbling gem not unlike some of the more pastoral work of their Athens
neighbors Elf Power. “In between and undefined is where it stays tonight,”
Lawson sings in “Okay.” That’s not a bad definition of Azar: it’s an album of
in-betweens, of shades, and of precise details.



Standout Tracks: “Okay,” “Young Master Sunshine” STEVE KLINGE







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