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Unlucky Atlas

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“The new American century waits and weeps to a dream, not all a dream, a new frontier.” Such the weight of bitter-sweet lyrics that accompany the biting acoustic instrumentals Unlucky Atlas has to provide. A quick listen at just over 30 minutes, the Chicago group’s self-titled release is a power-packed punch of acoustic ramblings and orchestral ballads. Just take a listen to the opening seconds of “Noble Enterprise” to feel the power pint up in Unlucky Atlas’ fingers. Quick and nimble at times, slow and calculated at others (“Great Awakening”), the acoustic instrumentals become Unlucky Atlas’ signature touch—along with heart-bending orchestral effects that add a classical touch to songs. That classical touch comes through also in their female-sung lyrics which drip with literary care, taking a page from romantic poets in a way that comes off not unlike The Decemberists (with song titles like “Jacobin Waltz” and autoharps and fiddles in your instrumental arsenal, how can you not come off as Decemberist-offspring?). Unlucky Atlas offer a wealth of unexpected acoustic delicacies and siren-song instrumental tracks full of mournful, introspective, and romantic drudgery.

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