! = recommended
* = all-ages
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One of my favorite albums of the year comes from the Oxford-based band Stornoway. It's an understatement to say they craft sumptuously understated melodies that draw from ponds of the Decemberists, later-era Lucksmiths, and Nick Drake and would sit comfortably on mixtapes between Teenage Fanclub, Belle and Sebastian. Given the line of influence, it's no surprise that the band members met while attending Oxford University and that there is an ornithologist and a Russian translator among its ranks.
The songs on their 2010 release, Beachcomber's Windowsill, craft a soothing journey that meanders with graceful guitars and strings, playful keyboards and drum section, and shiny hopeful vocals that pierce your heart, summoning the memories you hold closest.
Stornoway will play their first show in Seattle at the Crocodile on Thursday, December 9, 2010 with Head and the Heart opening up.
This is a show that cannot be missed and we've got a pair of tickets to giveaway. To enter, email tig @ three imaginary girls.com with the subject line "Long Distance Lullaby"by 9am on Tuesday, December 7. To make our Pacific Northwest hearts bond with them even further, Seattle's very own Barsuk Records release a split Stornoway / Ra Ra Riot 7" record. I haven't been able to procure that vinyl yet, I can only hope that they'll have some at the merch booth at the Crocodile.