Dina Maccabee: The Sharpening Machine (Geomancy, 2019)

April 13, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Dina Maccabee: The Sharpening Machine

Dina Maccabee attended the University of Michigan a long time ago, and since then she’s collaborated with Feist, Tune-Yards, Vienna Teng, and many others. She currently records and tours with Julia Holter, and she wrote the score for a musical which will be premiering in St. Paul, Minnesota at the end of this month. This is forward-thinking experimental pop combining primitive drum machines, electro-acoustic fragments, and an intricate web of acoustic instrumentation, along with Dina’s multi-tracked slightly reverby vocals. It seems a little hazy but at the same time it’s very focused and deliberate. It gets rootsy (“Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Song” has banjos and a fiddle solo, “Little Bite” is a toe-tapping country-ish tune that happens to have trombones) but at the same time it’s also a bit psychedelic. Songs like “Tall Trees” and “It Doesn’t Have to Be OK” are really relaxing but also slyly catchy. It might be worth mentioning that Holter appears on two songs, but the album has its own strange and wonderful vibe.

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