Catherine Market is a truly rich sounding record.....as heavy, durable and authentic as an old leather wallet.."
"Arc in Round have that perfect mix of dark pop and space rock, a modern take on the classic shoegaze sound"
"These are philosophical songs where the music
itself captures the beauty and wonder as much as the lyrics."
"40 minutes of epic psychedelic dirge...an
exercise in sustained delirium."
"Un espace sonore unique, hautement conceptuel
avec peu de prétention et passionnément construit que je
ne cesse de savourer."
"Over its nine tracks, the album moves from
these studied calm states to a near early-Mercury Rev feral fever pitch."
"A wondrously evocative composition"
"Lewis & Clarke blew up their pastoral
folk sound into long, torn-open and moody soundscapes on 2007's Blasts
of Holy Birth, and they have taken that brooding tangled beauty down even
darker roads....Light Time shows once again that Lewis & Clarke's
quiet sound is an affecting one."
"Lewis & Clarke doesn’t play songs
as much as unfurl them, slowly letting ribbons of sound billow and cascade.
The power, though, is palpable, made even stronger through delicateness,
a paradox that is at play not only in the music on Light Time but also
in its metaphors for life, loss and renewal.
Hypnotic mountain folk, setting reedy vocals against
spare and elegant guitars, gradually swooning into a near seven-minute
piece full of strings and woodsy imagery...songs for getting lost into"
"A reminder that the heart, above all else,
is a muscle."
"With lyrics that pluck at the heartstrings,
and guitar that can be most simply put as solemnly subtle, there's a sense
of heaviness that seems to be barely escaping itself...These are songs
that embrace their own hopeful anguish, and satisfy our need to feel."
"The Swans blend the mysterious and plainspoken to
create a sort of uncheery Appalachian chamber music. At
"The beauty of Change! lies mainly
in its ability to make folk, a genre that's been around nearly as long
as the acoustic guitar, sound entirely modern while still conveying the
simple themes of heartbreak, anxiety, and desire."
"Darkened Americana, all quavery strings and gruffed
voice, thorny words."
"A literal and metaphorical bundle of warmth laying
in wait for those who need the embrace...leavened by honestly hopeful
lyrical pockets and the dexterous, melancholy string sweep"
"12 chillingly atmospheric tracks."
"Appalachian and Gothic in feel and tone, this is
a record charged with a profound vulnerability and a grave admiration
for that vulnerability...The Black Swans deftly merge glistening guitars,
morose violins, and understated brushed drums together to create a poised
and subtle soundtrack to the intense lyrics...Indeed, Change!
is a welcome change."
"Somber, reverent and about to break. It will take
you somewhere dark, beautiful and true. The prettiest nightmare this year."
Selected Press for Lewis & Clarke Blasts of Holy Birth:
"Its obvious that this album is a keeper...perfectly crafted, well executed, and earnest in its intent. Blasts of Holy Birth is thoroughly enjoyable, and it would rest snugly beside your copy of Pink Moon and Brightblack Morning Light. In aiming to create music that is emotionally pure, Lewis & Clarke has released one of the best of the year."
"Eight tracks of delicate beauty."
"The melodies are exquisite, as delivered by an impressive array of strings, percussion, and Rogai’s own direct, unforced vocals...This is a band that more than deserves its growing acclaim."
"Rogai has a gift for speaking plainly while tonguing poetry, and his meditations on life cycles and pastoral philosophy blossom and collapse with organic grace...Contributions from Man Man, Rachel's and Hella might draw people in to Holy Birth, but Rogai's cloudless crystalline vision will keep them."
-A.V. Club (The Onion)
"A profound work of earthy, orchestrated new-folk, Blasts Of Holy Birth raises the bar for both listeners and players...An expose of grace, beauty, peril, triumph, and the interconnectivity of all things. Meshing gorgeously hushed melodies and plucked guitars with baroque string arrangements and ethereal pulses and surges, Lewis & Clarke has crafted a transcendent work of epic proportions."
"The eight tracks here are protracted and whisper-quiet yet engaging, with a constant tug of sorrow that satisfies..Rogai exhales poignant lyrics and juggles elegant instrumentation with a revolving cast that includes members of Man Man and Rachel's..Fans of Iron & Wine and ilk would be wise to prick up their ears."
"Blasts of Holy Birth is a much quieter affair whose beauty lies in its intricacies...a mystifying and ultimately solid and thrilling album."
"This is psychedelic in a halcyon sense, as moments expand and bring warmth to the listening experience. Rogai and company play with space here, a feat that yields results that range from warm undertones to grandiose exultation."
-Cleveland Free Times
"Full of gentle drones of bowed cello(courtesy of Rachel's member Eve Miller), ripples of plucked harp strings (by Russell Higbee of Man Man), slow-motion cascades of horns and synths, and existential rhythms of tabla and trap-kit snare, all tied together in patient, sophisticated arrangements that highlight Rogai's spiritually inquisitive lyrics and quietly demonstrative vocals."
"Don't expect to approach Blasts of Holy Birth as a one-hit, catch-and-release affair, as Rogai and his collaborators have culled a set of melodies that achieve a haunting beauty...it is more than a collection of songs...each listen unearths a new layer...restrained aggression often apparent in classical symphonies but rarely accomplished in a pop music setting."
-Lost At Sea
"Intriguing neo-folk classics that are bundled into meditative rhythms that boast an out-of-body experience...The title track will haunt your soul for an eternity; this is an album you simply must own."
"An absolutely stunning album."
"A deeply personal record, crafted with a subtle hand that lends to multiple new awakenings with each new listen...Rogai's centerpiece, 'Before it Breaks You,' takes to task combining the many strengths and mysterious hidden mazes of Holy Birth, into a ten-minute epic capable of producing both tears of remembrance and a third-eye vision, should the listener indulge enough in it's multiple folds. "
"The mystical side of (Lewis & Clarke) is heightening...thoughtful, lightly philosophical, exploratory folk with a rustic, natural-world mood."
- Erasing Clouds
"Blasts of Holy Birth is gorgeous. It's superbly articulated and ideally presented with an appropriate production whose highlights are warmth, delicacy, and prettiness...it's not only the mixture of instrumentation and the aplomb with which each instrument's part is in total harmony with the rest; it's the way all these players are presented to the audience, with each sonic character being an element of delicate beauty."
"Kaleidoscopic layering over sophisticated lines, the rosy folk songs within are tasteful, only bordering on sentimental, and graciously free of pretense...reverent, almost hymnal in quality."
- The Aquarian Weekly
"A record of struggle, doubt, and eventual resolution..pretty folk melody heads off into more unusual territory... rhythmic folk guitar patterns pacing a flickering flow of images"
"This is quite clearly a thinking man’s album by a thinking man’s band, but a thinking man who figures as much with his spirit as he does with his head."
-Donnybrook Writing Academy
"The music and lyrics are gorgeously rustic, spacious, somnolently elegant and entrenched in the woodsy surroundings that inspired them."
-Philadelphia City Paper
There's something oceanic and spiritual about Lewis & Clarke. Perhaps the feeling's summoned at the start of this 12" when you hear babies murmuring before the first notes begin, and then you notice the title of the last song, "Blasts Of Holy Birth". The fact that the four songs here were recorded live brings yet another dimension to the gentle clarity and potent emotion intrinsic to their kind of folk music. Open, compelling and pure.
"This live set of expansive, intricate folk is fleshed out by a variety of textures...every note is wound up with import, like the quiet minutes of the day when your mind has the chance to cut through the mundane and focus on sometimes difficult realities."
Selected Press for Dragon Turtle / Strand of Oaks Split 7":
This excellent first release from the Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania-based label La Société Expéditionnaire is a split 7" featuring Dragon Turtle and Strand of Oaks. It's two sides of rustic country-folk music of an exploratory bent. Look at that cover image of a galaxy swirling into a cross-section of a tree trunk and you'll get the idea. Dragon Turtle's "Light the Lamps" sets the mood right with a gorgeous ghost of a song, the duo's voices floating and overlapping over some pretty piano, acoustic guitar, and steel guitar. It's a page of a nature journal tucked into a philosopher's diary and set adrift, over unfettered voices and instruments: "I want to burn / like leaves in the rain." The Strand of Oaks song, "(Forty-Five) Today," is more grounded but no less beautiful, and no less powerful. Its power's more rooted in the pain of everyday life, of aging and unrequited desire. Timothy Showalter sings his story slowly, patiently, letting his words hit but also letting the music take over, letting piano and guitar tantalize and cast their own spell.
- Erasing Clouds
Swirling, textured, a bit atmospheric and extremely melodic, this split 7" showcases two halves of a separate, but connected, musical entity. Both tracks solicit a meloncholic, emotional reaction. Dragon Turtle's foray "Light the Lamps" is subtly more abstract in character than Strand of Oaks' "45 today". The shamanistic lyric rhythm repetition lulls you into closing your eyes and dreaming of fantastic places deep in your subconscious.
Selected Press for Lewis & Clarke Bright Light 7":
"A gifted newcomer"
"Performed to the hilt, with sincerity and authenticity...with maturity and enough perspective and respect for the song to never overplay... a mournful slow-burning sound that fills the air. It's a sound that will never tire, never go out of fashion, and hopefully will be delivered in a long-playing format sometime soon."
"Everything about this rural Pennsylvania trio’s debut speaks of an attention to detail and nuance...Honest and direct, yet striking a perfect balance with lyric ambiguity, Rogai appears to be a major young talent-in-the-making. With a new full-length, Bare Bones and Branches, available (albeit only in Belgium) by the time you read this, L & C’s star is in ascent."
"Lewis & Clarke makes no pretentious statements, harbor no ulterior motives and doesn't browbeat at all....The songs come on with a whisper and have the impact of a bomb."
Selected Press for Lewis & Clarke Bare Bones and Branches:
"Lewis & Clarke has carved out its own niche thanks to the lush arrangements of its debut, 2005's "Bare Bones and Branches."
"Bare Bones and Branches is moody and careful, resigned and gorgeous. It’s pop at half speed, or it’s country noir, it’s new folk, or maybe we’re calling it slo-core, I’m not sure, but it’s going to drown us in a sort of delicate, well-read, mellow flood. I think it’s a good way to go."
"This is the sound of the leaves falling, the sight of rolling hills revealed through a lattice-work of barren branches, the scent of woodsmoke, moss on the northern side of a nearly-naked tree...a sincerely brilliant piece of work...something unique, equal parts alt-country and chamber folk, sophisticated yet rustic."
"A heartfelt, atmospheric album packed with distinct tracks blends guitar finger-picking, soft reverb, organ, piano, and lap steel with bittersweet vocal harmonies."
"A whisper of an album, lovely without being precious, moody without being beleaguering. The band's only full-time member, Rogai is sheepish and articulate. He's a mild lyrical eccentric-"The sky is mint green jealousy" -and he knows how not to crowd a song."
"Bare Bones and Branches is a pure music experience that whispers half-remembered truths to the soul, as Rogai easily soars above so-called "acid folk"/"freak folk" conventions by exhibiting amazing clarity and a sense of spaciousness in his songs... striking in its authenticity and ability to convey empathy and even inspiration. It is gentle and wild, an abundant feast of simple fare that nourishes the heart."
"Rogai always finds a quiet place for solace, capturing the smallness of everyday despair with a laid-back balance of precision, warmth and regret."
"Its a shining example of the fact that there is much uncharted territory to explore in this field of music, often-decried of all sounding the same. “Bare Bones and Branches” is a blast of fresh air, just like Gastr Del Soul was when I first heard them, just like Richard Buckner was, hell, like Grateful Dead was when I dropped my pre-existing resistance and listened to American Beauty for the first time with open ears"
"Old tricks are made new again with the delicate touch of Lou Rogai's imagination."
"Lewis & Clarke, or Lou Rogai to be more exact, treads the territory of Papa M and Iron & Wine very well, and to be on par with such talent should be a hint to the quality found on this album....It’s a well-trod genre, but with acts like Lewis & Clarke still surprising us with such simple, melodic insights, maybe we should all just make room for one more."
"(Bare Bones and Branches) is time-friendly, interpretively communicative and complete. It's the little black dress of music when the Stones flash a few too many sequins. It's the violet '69 Jaguar convertible in the wheat field: honest, cute, and terribly desirable."
"(Bare Bones and Branches) shines an intelligent revelatory light into the heart of life and love."
"This group is spot-on...meandering melodies on a spool of reflective vocal lines, and sometimes unorthodox song structures... like an up-tempo visit to Scarborough Fair."
"The best songs on Bare Bones and Branches recall the Stones of Dead Flowers....Or maybe the fagged-out Pavement of Wowee Zowee."
"With the first leg of their voyage complete, the band has already penciled in a worthy addition to the folk music map. The songs are stretched to their fullest extents, occasionally meandering through long instrumentals as if to make sure nothing was missed along the way. Expeditions are always subject to wrong turns and missteps, but Bare Bones And Branches rarely strays. After their round trip, Lewis and Clark, explorers, returned home exhausted. For Lewis & Clarke, musicians, it sounds like they’re just getting started."
"Bare Bones and Branches features full-band accompaniment, it feels very much like the statement of an individual, bearing a plaintive intimacy most often associated with the lone troubadour....Bare Bones and Branches is also highly melodic, richly arranged, and extremely compact - an artistic statement nearly as impressive as it is cohesive."