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Posted Sep 29th, 2011 (1:05 pm) by Patrick McGinn

I’ve spent many-a-lonely night in a cramped closet that someone deemed a “college radio station”; my depression magnified by watching carefree co-eds carousing below me, unaware that we even existed. So when I discovered that Kelsie Brown (aka Red Alder, Cardoons) spent some time as the assistant musical director at Washington State’s KZUU radio (Go Cougs!), her stark musical stylings resonated at an even deeper level. But even if you haven’t spent hours tracking and dealing with 30-year old soundboards, she will surely seep into your sub conscious via séance and sheer sublime.

Her voice is so soft and hollow that it serves as more of a riddle than a manual to whatever melancholy she’s conjuring up. The percussion, especially on opening track “Monster”, is a bit abrasive but stripped down enough not to overshadow her plaintive musings. To call her sound minimalist is a serious understatement, it’s downright naked. But it takes true craft to strip away all the hubris and volume and still connect with your audience. Her new album is called Dissociation and for good reason. Its true purpose, if any, is to divorce yourself from reality and get in touch with the anonymous matter settling to the bowels of your soul. The whole album blends together. It’s slow, sad music for an ever-faster world that rarely has time to really mine the depths of raw misery.

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