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by Scott Brehman
The Alibis | Bloom | Self-Released
The Alibis (local Chicago folk-duo of singer/songwriters Eric Quigley and Daniel Robbins) offer their debut album Bloom with eleven tracks of upbeat, poppy folk to accompany a mid-afternoon hike or drive on a warm day with a cool breeze. Definitely an Iron & Wine/Calexico vibe throughout the record, with arrangements including acoustic guitars, banjo, harmonica, maracas, piano, violin (not fiddle), and often-harmonic vocals.
"Bittersweet" is anchored by a hypnotic guitar line that's accompanied by vocals that are grounded during the verses but soar into the choruses. "The Mournful Sound" includes claps and a subtle slide guitar to build a droning rhythm over which the two singers harmonize. Every aspect comes together most hauntingly and beautifully on "City Lights" which is anchored by a pretty, finger-picked guitar. Thematically, just about every song seems to balance a failed relationship with what is perhaps a one-night stand (possibly with the ex-love). Every track coheres to the overall sound but the varied instrumentation throughout allows each song its unique feel.
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