BACK IN STOCK
Mara Barenbaum’s solo vessel Group Rhoda emerged last year with one of 2012’s deftest debuts, Out Of Time – Out Of Touch, an alluring sound-garden of jittery drumbox, moody exotica, bedroom dub, and aloof shadow theater melodies. Tours both foreign and domestic soon followed, during which she began blueprinting 12th House, her sophomore collection. 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 is starker and spikier, almost post-punk in its clarity. From witchy island pop (“Day Ruiner,” “Dust”) and dizzy, micro-cosmic disco (“Coral Castle”) to paisley circus-psych (“Disappearing Ground”) and wobbly, haunted house dub (“Space Race,” “Blk Mtl”), the record is rich with rhinestones and reflections, her vocals detached but 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 free-spirited and fascinating follow-up by one of California’s most intriguing young pioneers. Mastered by Ruud Lekx. Black vinyl LPs in feline-fantasy collage jackets by Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough.