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Album Review

Lightning Dust, 'Infinite Light'

August 17, 2009

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Indie Folk
Lightning Dust Infinite Light
Jagjaguwar
ESSENTIAL “History’’
Lightning Dust plays T.T. the Bear’s Sept. 17.

Think of yourself hovering on the verge of tears. The quickening pulse, a warble in the throat, the involuntary urge to choke it back lest your vulnerability show. Now imagine stretching that out across an album of minimalist indie folk and you’ve got “Infinite Light,’’ the latest from Lightning Dust. It’s a feeling immediately conveyed through Amber Webber’s breathy, tremulous vocals. She seems perpetually near breakdown, even on the relatively upbeat keyboard bass jaunt of “I Knew.’’ Listeners familiar with Webber and bandmate Joshua Wells’s day jobs in neo-psych, stoner-rock band Black Mountain will recognize that outfit’s gloomy sonic worldview, but its stripped-down application here is worlds apart. With little more than piano, drums, and the occasional marching string arrangement, the duo shoulders a heavy burden with quiet reserve. Relatively rocking tracks like “The Times’’ show they’re capable of kicking up their heels, but before long it’s back to staring out the window at the dreary void on “Never Seen.’’ For many listeners Webber’s descent into Cat Power-style calamity will be the hook; others may find it a precious affectation. Then again, some people can’t see any beauty in a lonely overcast day. (Out now) LUKE O’NEIL