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Published: 2013/10/24
by Ron Hart

Carol Kleyn
Return of the Silkie

Drag City

Long before Joanna Newsom, Carol Kleyn was the reigning queen of arty harp pop. The cover of her 1983 album Return of the Silkie, reissued by veteran Chicago indie Drag City, perfectly visualizes the music contained within: a gorgeous, bohemian natural blonde sitting half-naked on an ocean jetty playing this bewitching hybrid of Joan Baez and Marianne Faithfull on the Great White Whale of stringed instruments accompanied by the sweet barks of harbor seals in the background amidst the crashing waves. And even though it came out in the early 80s, songs like “Sailor in the Sun” and “Rivers’ Calling” seem as though they could have been lost sides from a dropped pet project for the Beach Boys’ Brother Records a la Mary Hopkin at Apple Corps. This is relax music at its best, especially if you are in love with the female voice. A big thanks to Drag City for putting us on to this lost treasure of the West Coast.

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