Group Rhoda – 12th House CD

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Mara Barenbaum’s solo vessel Group Rhoda emerged last year from an introspective incubational phase with one of 2012’s deftest debuts, Out Of Time – Out Of Touch, an sensory sound-garden of jittery drumbox, moody exotica, DIY dub-pop, and shadow theater vocal melodies. A series of sustained tours – both foreign and domestic – soon followed, during which she began blueprinting 12th House, her sophomore statement. Recorded and produced in collaboration with Ben Versluis in San Francisco, the album’s eight songs snake through similarly entrancing terrain as her past work but the production this time is starker and spikier, with an almost post-punk clarity in places. From witchy island pop (“Day Ruiner,” “Dust”) and micro-cosmic disco (“Coral Castle”) through to paisley-flavored circus-psych (“Disappearing Ground”) and haunted house dub-damage (“Space Race,” “Blk Mtl”), the record is rich with Rhoda rhinestones and reflections. Her vocals, as always, perplex, detached yet discerning, casting strange dimensions into the music: “finally you look away / you look a way / do you see ghosts walking around? / it’s your town / it’s their town too.” A fascinating follow-up by one of California’s most intriguing young pioneers. 4-panel full-color digipaks with feline-fantasy collage artwork by Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough.



$7