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Thuja



First of all, it's pronounced "thoo-zhuh," and it's the genus name of North American cedar trees. It's an oddly appropriate name for this San Francisco band, which features members of Mirza. Thuja's amorphous layers of piano, organ, guitar, accordion, percussion, and electronics swirl together into woodsy environments of sound, reinforced by natural phenomena such as snapping sticks or scraping rocks. Listening to Thuja is like navigating a hazy dreamscape: things seem familiar, but it is impossible to predict what will happen next. Sometimes shafts of light filter through the canopy of sound; other times the pieces remain dark and mysterious. But Thuja is more intriguing than frightening. The 12 untitled pieces on The Deer Lay Down Their Bones, the band's first release, gently unfold into delicate musical melodramas that will seduce you with their subtle sonic explorations.

Track one, presented here, is a hypnotic blend of repeating organ drone, syncopated guitar, and simple percussion that gently fades into a dreamy, sparse wash of shimmering guitar. The other featured track, the fourth, is guided by a more traditional melodic sensibility which slowly fractures into a mélange of sound, like Rachel's heard through an oscillating fan.

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