March 25, 2009

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As I wrote the bio for local folk outfit, Eagle Winged Palace, I’m in no objective position to review “Hand of Doom,” their debut EP on Park the Van (Dr. Dog, The Spinto Band).  Then again, I wouldn’t waste my time writing a one-sheet for a mediocre group–so there’s that. The words in question are below. It’s good stuff–I promise.

(((Eagle Winged Palace))) are folk as ghost story. Spooky tales of weird edge of the earth California: Spanish ship wrecks slammed into the rocks of Big Sur; moon faced spirits of silent film stars darting through haunted Mediterranean palaces in Hollywood; migrants aching in the ruined farms of Salinas. A shambolic blend of magical realism, campfire legend and encroaching darkness that blot the mind of the Los Angeles folk act.

Originally the solo project of Cashew, the former lead singer of The Prix, (((Eagle Winged Palace))) was structured around a singular aesthetic: skeletal acoustic folk stories about dead and gone, black and white California. When the Prix parted ways earlier this fall, the project became Cashew’s main artistic focus and he soon decided to recruit a full working band to help carry out his vision. Turning to his friends, all Los Angeles natives themselves, he quickly recruited a group of kindred spirits. First came Michelle, a local poster artist, musician, and songwriter blessed with a bluesy voice and skillful finger picking abilities. Next came Mimi, a trapeze high-flyer model with a voice channeling the Elysian beauty of deep Joshua Tree desolation. Then came Karma, whose own band (Super Karma) evokes the shadowy beauty of Elliot Smith while still maintaining her own knack for writing unique melodies and hooks. Finally, and ironically least predictably, came Cashew’s wife, Uncle Rhea, a classically trained musician herself willing to step away from a high-profile scholarship to return to music for this new project. Recently, local photographer who is sometimes referred to as “shutterface” Sterling Andrews, has worked her way into the permanent lineup after sitting in for Uncle Rhea as she had her and Cashew’s son this fall.

Think spare, sinister folk in the vein of Fleetwood Mac or The Good, the Bad, and the Queen. Download it. Stream it. Give it to your girlfriend as a present and tell her you recorded it yourself.

Buy Eagle Winged Palace-Hand of Doom EP

Download:

MP3: Eagle Winged Palace-“Hand of Doom”

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