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The Zephyrs

What Edinburgh's The Zephyrs do might not sound like much if you listen casually or distractedly, but careful attention reveals something extraordinarily precious and special. The duo takes the blissful, reverberant torpor of the shoegazing dream pop sound, strips it down, and spikes it with a little country. While there are enough quiet and sad pop navel-gazers out there to sink Noah's ark, The Zephyrs offer a deeply personal and original brand of this style that separates them from the chattel. It's like Cosmic American Music via early '90s England. It's like what you might get if Mojave 3 and Low were to collaborate.

The group was found by Scottish brothers Stuart and David Nicol, who fell in love with their Dad's country records at an early age and used his old acoustic guitar to teach each other the chords and arpeggios they heard coming from his stereo. As they grew up, they developed their unique style of slow-motion psychedelic country-pop, debuting with It's Okay Not to Say Anything in March 2000. A year later they recorded the widely lauded album When the Sky Comes Down it Comes Down on Your Head on the now-defunct Southpaw Recordings, getting contributions from guest players Rachel Goswell (Mojave 3), Adele Bethel (Arab Strap), and Sean O'Hagan (The High Llamas).

In 2002, The Zephyrs issued an EP titled The Love That Will Guide You Back Home on Madrid-based Acuarela. It features two songs that appeared on their first LP -- a remix of "I Came for That" by their friend Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai and a new recording of "Obeyesseke" -- plus two new tracks. The EP is only 17 minutes long and you'll find yourself hording those minutes greedily. We can only hope The Zephyrs give us more of their unspeakably graceful music soon.

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