These guys aren't breaking new ground by wedding two seemingly incompatible genres, but they are succeeding in producing some truly listenable if not compelling music.
I can't remember how I found out about Mystic Chords of Memory [Nobody was unknown to me before this record ;)]. Maybe it was that live broadcast Beachwood Sparks did on KCRW that made me curious about their post break-up stuff. Or maybe it was a resurgence of interest in Eliot Smith that made me go looking for more of this type of music. Who knows. What matters is that I tracked this down the other day with more than pleasant results.
This record is wonderfully ethereal in a way that few records manage to be. And when crossed with the dubbing and beats of Nobody, it takes on exciting dimensions that exceed any dinner napkin plans that otherwise would have suggested failure from the get go.
I'm reminded of Sublime's second (and most creative) record in which ska, acoustic folk, reggae, and punk meet dub. There is a brave blending of styles on this recording that challenges the artist as much as the listener. Ali Gromer Khan's Space Hotel also comes to mind. Tree Colored See defines while simultaneously erasing lines of demarcation. I can't say that it works all the time, but it succeeds more than it fails.
So many influences drift in and out of this record that it's hard to keep track of them all (not that you have to): there's some Beatles here; Elliot Smith there; a touch of country; a dash of Beach Boys; and even the original blenders of country and alternate rock, the Velvet Underground, seem to rear their head from time to time.
Simply put, this is cool music that is unusually soothing and strangely upbeat at the same time.