Sep 9, 2014

A Year Afar – Better Life (2014)

On debut EP Better Life, A Year Afar adorns striking vocalist Suzanne Tufan with savvy support from Box Set guitarist Jim Brunberg, longtime Holcombe Waller collaborator Ben Landsverk and Blind Pilot’s Dave Jorgensen, conjuring a cohesive identity — though no two tracks sound alike.
Landsverk and Jorgensen constitute the rhythm section, but it’s their contributions on cello, trumpet and keyboards that flesh out the arrangements, alongside Brunberg’s variety of guitar textures.Tufan’s elastic vocal range and unbridled melodies recall eccentric chanteuses like Kate Bush and Mary Margaret O’Hara, though her slightly more mannered approach ends up closer to the prosaic quirks of, say, Natalie Merchant.

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