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With their uniquely glossy, warm sound, Massachusetts' Wheat is about as soothing and beautiful as any band can be, despite their undercurrent of almost inarticulable melancholy. They achieve this by layering countless instruments into the mix, from echoey organs and dreamy heavily reverbed guitars to samples and strings. Endlessly yearning, bottomless male vocals float through each song like lost kites. Then all the pieces are wrapped up with just the right production to give the songs a gently glowing matte finish. Wheat might call to mind a lot of very different and very great artists, from Neil Young to My Bloody Valentine to The Flaming Lips, but their rich, sad, golden textures are uniquely their own. Truly magnificent, searching stuff.

Wheat first emerged in 1997 with a self-titled single, then returned shortly thereafter in early '98 with a debut full-length on Sugar Free Records, Medeiros, which includes "Death Car." "Off the Pedestal" and "Raised Ranch Revolution" both come from the band's second LP, 1999's Hope and Adams, which was coproduced by Mercury Rev's Dave Freidmann. "Flat Black" comes from Better Looking Records' 2000 Holiday Matinee compilation.