The Dan Ryan

Guidance (Cosmic Dreamer)

Texas Platters

Chicagoan Nathan Dixey's sophomore album squeezes the Grateful Dead's psych-folk over earnest Fleet Foxes fusion flavor. The Austin act shares Venice, Calif., label Cosmic Dreamer Music, as well as backing members, with reverberative buddies RF Shannon. The nine tracks hold a marching, mantra-driven recursiveness, intro'd with Dixey's naturalistic ruminations on protest in "Ring Them Bells (Carrion Crow)." Things pick up on Simon & Garfunkel-y groove "Lonely Height" and the title buzz, "Guidance." Gentle strumming connects man with nature throughout, "Meditation Lake McDonald" inviting the listener to "Carry grief out to the shore, cast it like a stone." The final tracks lull listeners with jazzier, smooth-sung fare like "Elysian Fields." Through a clean, quality capture of expansive geography, Guidance could do a wee bit more trailblazing of its own distinctive spice.

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