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Boomkat Product Review:
Chicago band Anathallo deliver their first album for Anticon and their second album in total, following up on 2006's Floating World. This sonically ambitious septet stir up a tremendously mellifluous, unceasingly complex set of songs, fleshing out poly-instrumental arrangements, but significantly, never at the expense of the songs themselves. Opening piece 'Noni's Field' is an apt introduction, demonstrating a great handle on big-band dynamics without whacking you over the head with a string section the whole time (they save that for the final minute or so), and the lead vocal begs comparisons to the Brian Wilson-channelling clarity of The New Pornographers' AC Newman. On 'Italo' the band group together, choral-style for the finale, suggestive of an Efterklang sing-along, while 'Northern Lights' takes on a blissful serenity before 'The River' makes moves into Arcade Fire territory. Four tracks in and the album is sounding pretty incredible, and there's no let up on the jazzy, TV On The Radio-ishness of 'Cafetorium' or the overwhelmingly lovely 'All The First Pages'. Surely one of the strongest Anticon releases for some time, Canopy Glow is a complex and potentially rather unwieldy beast, but thanks to some beautiful writing and finely structured arrangements Anathallo never unnecessarily complicate their music. Recommended.