Review of Population album by Crown Larks on Already Dead Tapes and Records (AD249)

Review of Population album by Crown Larks on Already Dead Tapes and Records (AD249)

Crown Larks are a four piece band from Chicago comprising Lorraine Bailey – vocals, keys, alto saxophone, flute, synth bass; Jack Bouboushian – vocals, guitar, organ, microphone; Bill Miller – drum kit, percussion and Matt Puhr – bass.

Population is available as a cassette, digital download, and deluxe black vinyl from Already Dead Tapes and Records and also available as a blood red vinyl, deluxe black vinyl, cassette and CD from Crown Lark’s bandcamp page.

There’s a great vibe to this album, it has elements of indie, psych and jazz amongst others and a great jam quality at times. Not being bound by any particular genre gives Crown Larks a great free sound giving each song its own style. The vocals are excellent, ranging from laid back to more intense. The bass and drumming provide a great momentum and there’s excellent use of organ and sax / trumpet at times too.

Howls
A great jam quality to this song which is propelled by solid drumming / bass and keys. The guitar lead and vocals have an improv feel and provide a great contrast.

Circus Luvv
Another opening jam with drumming and bass providing momentum against the more uptempo keys, the song develops a laid back groove with similarly laid back vocals and some excellent feedback / scrape effects. A great improv quality again.

React

I really like the opening bass and drums, vocals enter to add an edge of tension. There’s a brooding quality to the song with a superb psychedelic vibe and a slow building tempo leading into two solo sections with a great release of tension to end.

TFZ Interlude
A slow Latin / bluesy / jazzy feel to the opening with keys, guitar lead, bass and drumming. The drumming changes to a more defined momentum. Vocals are excellent and the song has a laid back groove throughout.

Lithops Life
The opening has an uptempo, urgent feel from guitar riff, bass and drumming. Vocals have a great laid back quality with a kind of call and response feel against the vocals and trumpet. Great change of feel when the keys enter and the processed vocals add a great element.

Swoon (For Fred Hampton)
Keys to open the song have a reflective quality, distorted guitar effects, vocals and trumpet add a great edge. The song has experimental qualities at times.

Burn it Down
Uptempo feel to the opening from drumming, strummed riff leading into organ chords and vocals. Another great jam feel with development and variation in sound, the sax adds a great element.

“Watchful, Spellbound”
Atmospheric opening from delayed guitar and laid back vocals, there’s an ambience which slowly evolves a more uptempo sound with the introduction of percussion and feedback / distortion. The song takes on a more urgent, uptempo feel with a crescendo to a final release.

Goodbye
A drone type sound to open with organ riff and chords, there’s an evolving quality leading into laid back vocals which contrast really well against emerging distorted guitar which builds, releasing to a solid groove building tension to a final release.

Stranger (Unce down to the new store)
Opens with spoken vocals leading into uptempo synth bass riff and drumming and guitar lead. Vocals are excellent again, there’s a brooding quality to the song, an evolving tension to a final release.

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