Musée Mécanique - Hold This Ghost’

Chris Shipman 14/02/2010

Rating: 4.5/5

From the delicious waltzing opener 'Like Home', it's clear that Portland's Musée Mécanique are something special. This, their debut album, showcases a band who self-assuredly hang their sound on the peg of fragile introspection, driven by the lush vocals of frontman Micah Rawbin.

Both instantly accessible and revealing more with each subsequent listen, the five piece whittle off song after song of dazzling layered folk with apparent if ever so slightly infuriating ease. 'The Things That I Know' is one of the many highlights with Rawbin's voice softly breathing the gorgeously evocative lines 'As she sleeps beneath the sheets made up like canopies against the wind / she holds her plastic boxes through the night / they've never seen the light'. Like a less tormented Sufjan Stevens, the track takes flight, spreading into a panorama of lush string and guitar melodies - a theme that continues throughout the ten tracks on offer here.

Musée Mécanique claim to aspire towards creating 'songs with a soul'. It's a weighty if ambitious statement that with lesser bands would garner accusations of pretension but on the basis of their debut it's a mission well and truly accomplished.

Gushing hyperbole aside, 'Hold this Ghost' is an album that exhibits a devastating talent.