Posted on June 17th, 2011 (1:00 pm) by Clayton Williamson

Bossa nova: a relaxing style of jazz-like music originating from Brazil, reminiscent of exotic swimsuit models and '60s spy movies based around swimming pools. The London-based High Llamas, however, have made it their duty to mix in elements of Beach Boys-harmonies and a string section to tease lovely hooks into your earballs. Led by Sean O’Hagan, (a key collaborator on the flawless The Last Broadcast by Doves), the High Llamas explore a familiar sonic territory they’ve carved out in their previous releases, with no intention of shaking up the easy listening grooves.

You won’t find any hot singles, mountain shaking solos or cathartic choral bursts anywhere on Talahomi Way from Drag City. This is music you’d be safe to play around your grandmother without worrying about lyrical innuendo or lustful bass runs. “Wander, Jack Wander” is one of many instrumentals and it’s smoother than a $15 highball. Sean O’Hagan’s vocals pick and choose when to appear, often leaving songs early so the codas can fade away on their own.

Talahomi Way never loses its focus or throws deep political insights at you between the Rio-inspired rhythms. The lyrics of “Take My Hand”, for instance, comprises solely of “Take my hand and run it through the sand.” This album is unapologetic at doing its own thing, and it is not for everyone. Nevertheless, its perfect G-rated background music for your next big gathering, whether it be a family reunion or a Miami key party.


1. Berry Adams
2. Wander, Jack Wanger
3. Take My Hand
4. Woven and Rolled
5. The Ring of Gold
6. Talahomi Way
7. Fly Baby, Fly
8. Angel Connector
9. To The Abbey
10. A Rock in May
11. Crazy Connector
12. Calling Up, Ringing Down

The High Llamas: Talahomi Way
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

62 / 100
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