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July 14, 2024

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Space Mtn
Drawing of a Memory of a Photograph of You (Night Light/Aeronaut)

By: Scott D. Lewis

"Remember to breathe." Whispering that sound advice is a catchy way to start a record, especially one that is capable of taking your breath away. The whisperer is one Dina Waxman, the principal songwriter, bassist and the beguiling vocalist of Space Mtn. True, she wears her influences plainly on her sleeve - PJ Harvey, Throwing Muses, Tegan and Sara - but at least they are top-notch choices and her creations more than hold their own charms and rewards. Ably assisted by guitarist/keyboardist Chris Jacks, drummer Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle, The Vandals) and a few string players, Waxman has crafted a moving, intriguing, and satisfying musical world with A Drawing... With her husky voice tweaked just a bit so she sounds as if on the edge of a meltdown, Waxman delivers little lines like "I heard you were building a hovercraft for me," in a sly and slick manner as to make them stick to the brain upon the very first encounter. During "Next Time," a song that effortlessly slides from innocent to beautifully abrasive, Waxman?s voice sounds especially frail and vulnerable as she rattles off a list of self-conduct promises to keep for the next love encounter. Even though her internalized advice seems sound and strong, there is no escaping the sense that she knows it really won?t work. It?s this fine balance that makes the song, and this entire album, so appealing and addictive. The following "Oh," with its push-and-pull and its scary silliness, is a curious gem that is followed by the gorgeous emotional longing of "I Die." "Glide" creeps and slinks along, lubricated by strange swishing sounds as it lets the sweet pain of love spill right out. Love?s bittersweet nature flows throughout the airy and mystical "So What," and the dozen delights end with "Past Tense," a subdued, orchestral sonic wash that finds Waxman singing like an angel with clipped wings. A stunning introduction...Space Mtn is golden.

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