A gentle, half-concept album about the ghosts in singer Brandon Durham's hometown of Cedar Park, Texas, Palaxy Tracks' second album "Cedarland" is a sleepy mix of crystalline pop and delicate instrumentation, an American rock record that channels the Spring rain melancholy of all the early '80s British LPs you clung to for dear life at some tender age.
"Cedarland" recalls the emotional depth of Joy Division with the quiet, ethereal luster of Galaxie 500, Texas' own Bedhead and even Brian Eno circa "Another Green World." Sharp slices of slide guitar, ambient feedback, wurlitzer organ and singing saw waft in and out while Durham's overarching theme — it's over, but still we cling — is calmly and resolutely worked out through the course of these 11 picture-perfect songs.
Durham's terminally wistful croon is a voice that's both distinctive and totally unaffected. His singing and lovelorn songwriting invite the listener into a profoundly personal space, and while these songs may be confessional in nature, they're generous and inclusive, never absorbed. This isn't a diary of personal pain, but universal emotions. "Cedarland" is a vision of rainy English skies from beneath Texas' clear, wide, blue ones.