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  Eau Claire  
  Eau Claire  


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Eau Claire is a collaborative EP between two of America's greatest lady shoegazers: Texan Rachel Staggs and Minnesotan Jessica Bailiff. This is their first collaboration, and it features 4 songs in just over 21 minutes.

The first tune is Freefall, which is built from a layer of fuzzed out guitar, a keyboard riff, a tinkling hi-hat, and a throbbing minimal bass. To this, Staggs and Bailiff sing lightly, harmonizing under the weight of the sound. This tune is very reminiscent of some of the poppier moments of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. That is, this is a happy bouncy pop song buried under a lot of distortion. Very nice, and much like what i was anticipating here.

The next tune, Soaring, is a little different. It starts with a minimal, wavering drone that stretches on for three minutes in a Windy and Carl sort of way. Then an acoustic guitar strums in, accompanied by voice and some nice basswork.

The droning feeling continues on For Times, and again there is an acoustic guitar strumming away. Here, though, Staggs and Bailiff sing together, creating a wonderful harmony that really works.

For the end of the disc, it is back to the poppy fuzzy music of the opening track. This is called Song For, and it features some delightfully fun background vocals.

Hmm. Now that i have this written down like that, i see that a collaboration of two people created 4 songs, two of which are kind of droney, and the other two are kind of fuzzy. Did Ms. Bailiff write the middle two songs, while Ms. Staggs' tunes are at either end of the EP? Interesting.

At any rate, although this is pretty good, in some way, it is not as good as i would have hoped. I have enjoyed the solo work of these two artists rather much, and i had high hopes for their collaboration. It is just that, well, i wanted more. I expected more. I have no idea what, since this EP really sounds like a blending of their two musical styles, but somehow i wanted more. That's the problem with supergroups really: the fans expect too much.

Still, this is a worthwhile EP, and i do look forward to more collaboration between Staggs and Bailiff.

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