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Music Review: The Sours – ‘The Sours’

The Sours may well be the most inappropriately-named band ever. An acoustic trio fronted by a singer-songwriter with certainly one of the sweetest voices you’re likely to hear, The Sours are anything but vinegary. Listen to their eponymous debut album released last fall and you may hear an acerbic lyric or two, but sour? No way. The lovely-voiced Sarah Schrift handles the vocals and plays guitar on a couple of tracks. The heavy guitar load is carried by Sasha Markovic, who also served as producer, and Kana Kamitsuba joins in on piano for a track or two. All of the…

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Summary : An album filled with the kind of music that deserves an audience.

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The Sours may well be the most inappropriately-named band ever. An acoustic trio fronted by a singer-songwriter with certainly one of the sweetest voices you’re likely to hear, The Sours are anything but vinegary. Listen to their eponymous debut album released last fall and you may hear an acerbic lyric orthe sours two, but sour? No way.

The lovely-voiced Sarah Schrift handles the vocals and plays guitar on a couple of tracks. The heavy guitar load is carried by Sasha Markovic, who also served as producer, and Kana Kamitsuba joins in on piano for a track or two. All of the album’s 11 tracks were written by Schrift, either alone or in combination with Markovic, and in the case of one tune, “Wish,” with the entire trio. The beautiful melody of “Wish,” by the way, is the kind of song that could well turn into an anthem with a more elaborate arrangement, but elaborate is not what The Sours are all about.

Their stripped-down performance stresses the sincerity endemic to simplicity. They are content to let the music, which covers a variety of moods and styles, speak for itself. There is the jazzy-vibed “Seawitch,” built on what seems like a very familiar vamp on the one hand. On the other, there’s the folky narrative of “Second Stop,” if a song about Brooklyn can be said to be folky. The songs tell stories. At times they seem confessional, almost as though drawn from a diary. “Gnt” has something of a bluesy feel and some fine piano work from Kamitsuba. “Everwas,” the album’s opener, sets the tone. “Egret,” a short a cappella piece, closes the set on an emphatically honest note.

Looked at as indie pop, folk, or straight-ahead jazz, The Sours is an album filled with the kind of music that deserves an audience.

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