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stars of the lid - Carte-De Visite
Released to coincide with the band's tour, 'Carte-De-Visite' is a compilation of rarities, out-takes and unreleased tracks from the unsurpassable Stars of the Lid. Easily one of the best-loved bands in their field, Stars of the Lid have been busying themselves with regular releases for many years now, but until 2007 live shows were an unusual occurrence. Thankfully the band vanquished their demons and embarked on an epic trek across Europe and the USA, taking with them this selection of tracks to offer to the lucky patrons. Luckily we've managed to acquire a handful of copies (100 only in the country!) so those of you unable to grab one at the shows will now be able to gorge yourselves on the most delectable of drones. Spanning 1997 to 2007, it seems criminal that the majority of the tracks have never seen the light of day before. Even those that have been released were so limited that only the most blessed among us would have ever been able to track them down. The highlights for me are opium-addled out-takes from 'And Their Refinement of the Decline' and my personal favourite album 'Tired Sounds' but my overall pick of the disc is 'The Funereal', an unreleased track from 1997. In its brief length, the track showcases everything that I love about the band - a Cocteau Twins-esque sense of shimmering, cavernous melancholy and a restraint that is simply unmatched in the genre. You could almost be listening to Brian Eno or Harold Budd, and in a mere two and a half minutes the band reveal exactly why they're at the top of their game. Hugely recommended.