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Sappington



San Francisco's Sappington pulls from a number of different sound sources to create an idiosyncratic, somnolent style that walks the line between shoegazing dream pop and ambient electronic music. Singer Ann Talbott's stately but resigned vocals resemble those of Low's Mimi Parker, thanks in part to collaborator Keith Vidal's minimal, understated guitar flourishes and occasional quiet harmonizing. But Sappington's predilection for subtle but striking experimental beats and abstract sounds in conjunction with the aching vocals, melancholy guitars, and quiet keyboard flourishes distinguishes the duo from Low and their ilk. The feeling in these restrained, smartly orchestrated pieces goes beyond slow, soaring melancholy; there's an added tension, a nebulous paranoia about the unknown and unexpected.

Talbott and Vidal began playing together in late 1999. Initially Sappington was a side project, but the peculiar energy of their collaboration soon eclipsed their other projects. In 2000 they recorded their beautiful self-titled debut EP, available to you here in its entirety. In 2002, Sappington released another stunning four-song EP, Summer, on which the duo continued to juxtapose their soft searching voices with melodic acoustics and slightly dissonant electronics. The release, part of Dreams By Degrees' terrific Seasons series of 10-inch EPs (which also features efforts by Coastal, Colophon, and Loquat), includes the minimal "Airtight" as well as a starkly anthemic cover of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" and a glitchy downtempo remix of "Airtight" courtesy of Park Avenue Music.