'Three Months' of Beautiful Misery with Castanets

Joseph Coscarelli

"I was ready to settle down," sings Raymond Raposa on "Three Months Paid," one of the haunting tunes featured on the Castanets' forthcoming studio effort, In the Vines. But by constantly mulling over the possibility, Raposa sounds like he might be trying to convince himself, as if the repetition will make it true. In place of permanence, sorrow and regret shade every line, lending a lost and transient sadness to this genuine drifter ballad. From Gainesville, Florida to Northern California nothing feels quite right.

Raposa's low, gravelly voice intones his remorse over a spare arrangement including electronics that gurgle and hiss, while soft country-tinged licks squeal and whine in the distance. Through measured strums and molasses-like pacing, Castanets still manage to captivate through over six devastating minutes, as droning sound effects and primitive percussion echo hollowly. When members of a ghostly chorus join in unison -- "North, South, East and West," -- Raposa's words sound so earnest, you'd be inclined to follow him anywhere. In the Vines finally settles down Oct. 23 via Asthmatic Kitty label.

Now Hear This:
Castanets - "Three Months Paid" STREAMING MP3

On the Web:
Castanets at MySpace
Castanets at Asthmatic Kitty

Talk: How many 'months' will it take you to get over your Castanets-induced heartache?

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