[Photo by Chris Habib]

We get a lot of crap CDs at the self-titled offices. But once in a while, a pleasant surprise slips into our promo stack. Here’s a recent delivery that knocked the s/t staff on its collective ass.


The Artist/Album: Noveller, Desert Fires (Saffron Recordings, 2010)

The Vibe: To be honest, we thought this was a Fripp & Eno bonus disc at first, taken from one of their recent drone-defining reissues. So imagine our surprise when we realized it was actually Sarah Lipstate, a former Cold Cave/Parts & Labor member who basically makes the guitar her bitch on this wildly expressive album, her second under the Noveller guise. True to the mission statement on her site, Lipstate leaves you wondering how such a layered listen could come from one player, an axe-wielding master of the almighty Riff that’ll have you saying “we’re not worthy” well before the last prickly chord progression.

RIYL: Pedal pushers; speaker-engulfing tone poems; staring at the sun (or your ceiling)