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Jennifer Gentle

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“Universal Daughter” by Jennifer Gentle:

Jennifer Gentle took its name from a Syd Barrett lyric, and the Italian group's songs resemble abridged, if still potently psychedelic, versions of the late Pink Floyd frontman's sprawling compositions. After collaborating with Alessio Gastaldello on 2005's Valende, Jennifer Gentle co-founder Marco Fasolo recorded this year's spellbinding The Midnight Room solo, multitracking his helium-huffing vocals into Lollipop Guild harmonies. Fasolo starts with minimalist organ drones, then incorporates quivering electric leads, acoustic jangles, bells, piano, kazoo bleats, whiz-bang sound effects, choral glissandos and dramatic cymbals, becoming a one-man marching band of lost souls. Though uniformly eerie, Fasolo's creations offer hazy melodic invitations that are too intriguing to refuse. Live, Jennifer Gentle becomes a quintet, enabling Fasolo to re-create every element of his surreal chamber-pop symphonies.

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