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II [Us Import]

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Amazon's Espers Store


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Espers is a psych folk band from Philadelphia that is part of the emerging indie folk scene. They formed in 2002 as a trio of singer-songwriter Greg Weeks, Meg Baird and Brooke Sietinsons but later expanded to a sextet including Otto Hauser, Helena Espvall and Chris Smith. Their music is reminiscent of late-sixties British folk as well as many contemporary folk acts such as Six Organs of ... Read more in Amazon's Espers Store

Visit Amazon's Espers Store
for 6 albums, photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

1. Dead Queen
2. Widow's Weed
3. Cruel Storm
4. Children Of Stone
5. Mansfield And Cyclops
6. Dead King
7. Moon Occults The Sun

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Haunting folk brew 26 May 2006
By threestarsmash - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The dreary, sparkling world of Espers is as sharp and haunting a trip as a drop of blood falling from a blade of grass. "II" is a worthy follow-up to the acclaimed first Espers record, which itself was full of slightly off and entrancing female-sung melodies, but more lucidly realized. Which is not to say that "II" isn't a hazy, cumulus cloud of bittersweet musical beauty.

Lazy-yet-epic acoustic plucked opener "Dead Queen" drifts around on harmonized choral vocals like cigarette smoke, never hinting at the smoldering middle section filled out with a wandering overdriven guitar. Richly expanded instrumentation carries the song to its end. "Dead Queen" hints at what the rest of "II" has to offer: spooky acoustic folk peppered with flute, cello, and even weirder sounds that adhere to a framework of subtly dynamic songcraft like salt to beach rocks.

Some songs, like "Mansfield and Cyclops," are off and running at a good gallop before you even realize they've passed the starting gate, riding on pure musicianship with an understanding of the power of orchestral dynamics. Less of a piece-by-piece assemblage of segues, the songs truly evolve out of and back towards silence, rarely staying at exactly the same spot for long. Overall, "II" is a musical backdrop that can take the listener anywhere from a gothic plantation manor, to the sky, to the backyard. This is music that has the kind of sonic power that a video image of an empty swing on a run-down playground can convey. It's grown-up yet childlike, partly sunny but partly cloudy, wary of death but full of vitality and feeling. And highly recommended, especially for fans of Iron and Wine, Black Heart Procession, the Dirty Three, or hallucinogens.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Music that brings back the spirit of the sixties. 12 July 2006
By Peter A. Kulberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first heard of Espers in an English music magazine. The review got me to purchase their first CD and I was delighted with the music. The second CD was also good and I began to wonder why I never heard this group on the radio. This third CD, strangely enough entitled Espers II, is fantastic. Still no American review and no airplay. I was an Elvis fan in the fifties, a folk-freak in the early sixties, an English invasion fan in the mid to late sixties and a folk-rock fan in the early seveties. As much as I loved all these forms at the time, I'm sick to death of hearing them endlessly repeted on the radio. Give me something new, please. Espers is it. I hope you buy it. I hope you like it. I'm so glad I found that review that lead me to this band. Wake up music-america. Listen to Espers. You'll be amazed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Espers continue to explore the psychedelic-folk 60s sounds 20 Mar 2008
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I guess you can say that I am a late-comer to the Espers party. I only found out about their 2004 self-titled debut album in early 06. I loved that album, and then lost track of the band. Fast forward two years, and since their debut album, the band released a covers EP called "Weed Tree" and in May '06 they released their second full album, which I only found out about recently.

On "II" (7 tracks, 50 min.), the band, lead by Greg Weeks and vocalist Meg Baird, continues to explore the psychedelic-folk sounds of the 1960s, but generally with some sharper and darker edges to it. Opener "Dead Queen" has an almost medieval feel to it, but that is shed quickly on "Widow's Weed". The better tracks on the album are on the latter half, such as "Children of Stone", a 9 min. epic; "Dead King", which has a spellbinding intrumental outro (which is one of the band's forte's), and the closer "Moon Occules the Sun", which calmes down the nervous edge that is present on many tracks and wraps it all up nicely.

"II" is a more demanding/edgier than the debut album. In the end, "II" is as much a mood piece as is the debut album, and as such a nice extension, even as some new nuances in the music are brought forward. I'd love to see how the band brings it all home in a concert setting. That said, with my luck (being a few years behind their output), Espers will be releasing new material soon. I can only hope!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful! 8 Aug 2006
By Pete Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album is great! Sounds like the chap below has some folk vendetta, but pay it no mind. The album is beautiful through and through. The reviews can be misleading - don't expect a homegrown, acoustic ride like many of the bands they are compared to. This one has its "folk" roots, sure, but also links up with the sounds familiar to fans of drone, acid rock, microtonal composition and even "indie rock", whatever that might be. I think the best thing about Espers is that they just seem to be set on making great and moving music, all of it coming naturally and feeling legitimate and relevant to the simple pleasure of enjoying songs. Folk, prog, rock, hippie, indie, etc. is meaningless. Of course, this isn't going to suit all ears, but give it a shot! Seems like most of the detractors are either hippie-bashers or insecure music geeks who cannot realx a minute to enjoy the sounds...at least there are very few of 'em!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4 1/2 stars. 17 Mar 2007
By fluffy, the human being. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
this philadephia sextet sounds like an english folk-rock group from the late 60'/early 70's. pentangle with shades of fairport convention come to mind. singer meg baird has a hauntingly fine voice that weaves through the forest of instruments on this album with subtle beauty. and there IS a forest of instruments here. many instruments that i have never heard of: like, the echo plex, the crumar toccata, the crumar performer, the univox mini-korg, the arp odyssey, the omnichord, the doumbeck, the dholak, singing bowls, and the crybaby. i have heard of the martin 6-string acoustic guitar, which is beautifully layered into the mix all throughout the recording. there is also cello, recorder, flute, sleigh bells, and gongs here. mojo magazine selected this as the 22nd best album of 2006 and who am i to argue. great album, indeed.
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