Reviews Search


The follow-up toL'altra's 1999 self-titled EP comes on strong with sweet and somberpop, chilling with an intensity that well exceeds its slow and simplearrangements. Whether or not you're looking for music to languish to,Music of a Sinking Occasion is itself good enough reason to let thestereo blare while you lie in bed all day. Opening track "Music of aSinking Occasion" is hardly ideal cocooning music, but once you getpast its jazz jangle, there's nearly an hour of solid tunes that aresimply to sigh for. "Little Chair" layers mellow strings and guitarover rolling bass and drums that evoke a duskier Sea & Cake. Shortand glowing "Slow as Cake" and "Handwashing for Good Health" featurelayers of keyboardist Lindsay Anderson's vocals, which on most tracksintertwine with those of guitarist Joseph Costra. Towards the middle ofthe album, "Lips Move On Top of Quiet" starts as a quiet sway thatswells into an icy swirl of piano and strings. Each song evokes adistinct shade of introspective longing that blends into the next for awhole set of uninterrupted atmosphere. The album also features RobMazurek (Isotope 217, Chicago Underground Trio) on trumpet and FredLonberg-Holm (Flying Luttenbachers, Pillow) on cello. L'altra'sEuropean tour, kicking off in April in Brussels with Tortoise and theSea & Cake, will finish up with a single stop in the States atChicago's Schubas, May 11th. In the meantime, it's hard not to resistlearning all of Music by heart, with plenty of blankets nearby. - Diane Lewis