Ladybug Transistor

What's so bad about feeling macabre? Nothing, if the works of Nick Drake, Camera Obscura, and Ladybug Transistor are around to dispel your bittersweet nostalgia or pensive melancholy. Although these 'bugs call the wilds of Brooklyn home, there's little of the bluster often associated with that NYC satellite within their music. Instead, the hallmarks of their sound are strummed acoustic guitar, percolating keyboards, wryly bouncy rhythms, and Gary Olson's smooth, comforting baritone. If you haven't already heard, their latest opus, Don't Wait Another Day (Merge), makes for great commiserating companion on lonely days when the age-old "turn that frown upside down" line just isn't working. A good part of Ladybug Transistor's style is meant for soaking up your sadness or at least making you believe that your troubles pale in comparison to theirs. The forlorn twang of "California Stopover" and languid, lounge-y waltz of "Lord Don't Pass Me By" will allow you to be reborn in a Burt Bacharach song, halfway between San Jose and that Valley of the Dolls, free to find your own way home.

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Mark Keresman