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Flying Canyon

Singer/songwriter Cayce Lindner sports a thick gray beard, calls Northern California home, and plucks an acoustic guitar. This means a lot of people will describe his new project, Flying Canyon, as a symptom of this whole freak-folk, indie-hippie fad. And while Glenn Donaldson's production — transforming doom-metal grooves into woodland dirges — lends a modern sound to Lindner's rustic folk rock, the dude truly possesses a fragile old soul. On "The Bull Who Knew the Ring," the voice reflectively mutters "Bring me one last song for Jerry Lee/This old boat ain't gonna make it out to sea" and feels as torn and frayed as Kris Kristofferson's during his "Sunday Morning Coming Down." Meanwhile, the candlelight introspection of "Down to Summer" and "Revolver" recall the lush, summer-of-love balladry of the Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin — "Today" and "Comin' Back to Me," in particular. Then again, Lindner is no retro-revivalist still bemoaning the death of the '60s. His music hovers in a netherworld between the past and present, returning us to Donaldson's recording techniques, which further enhance Flying Canyon's not-this-but-not-that vibe. As a member of the ambient-drone outfit Thuja, the dude honed an aesthetic that can be described only as granola-industrial. It's a sound he applies masterfully to Lindner's tunes, making Flying Canyon's debut a true slice of American beauty.

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