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Doveman, ‘With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead’ (Brassland)

Doveman’s muted, claustrophobic compositions sound as if they were conceived in a dark, windowless room in an empty house in the woods — especially when they consist of just Thomas Bartlett’s faint whisper and guitar (he also adds piano, drums, and a constant low-level hum). His second Doveman album neatly pairs studio-recorded songs with atmospheric interludes. He’s at his best in José González mode (the gorgeously subtle “Sunrise”), but also mixes it up, kitchen-sinking like Andrew Bird (the busy, hypnotic “Secret”) and getting avant-classical on occasion. The inconsistency can be jarring, but it keeps the whole thing from drowning in tranquility.

Now Watch This: Doveman – “Sunrise”