HUNDREDS OF LIONS (2009)
With no label exec to watch the clock, Sam Kassirer and Erin McKeown retreated to a farmhouse studio tucked in a pocket of rural New England and experimented. They squished acoustic sounds through synthesizers. They programmed electronic squiggles to mingle with orchestral strings recorded in a country church down the street. Brass and woodwinds, traditionally last, were recorded very early on so they built the core of the record instead of just layered on top. They tried it all then whittled away what didn’t work. The result is a record that’s lush but focused, that soars and dips, with lyrics that dismantle the elegance and danger of desire.