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Meet Devonte Hynes. He used to scream and dance and thrash, now he strums, harmonizes and hums. And his latest endeavour, Lightspeed Champion, is a long departure from the dance/ indie/punk fans concoction known as Test Icicles. Hynes’ latest musical effort Galaxy of the Lost is a perfect addition to the Domino Records brand. It’s hard to not picture Galaxy as the byproduct of dropping The Cure’s Robert Smith in mid-west America with an acoustic and a stool and telling him to play for the entire Saddle Creek records stable (Bright Eyes, Son, Ambulance, The Good Life). Consisting of acoustic layered, melodic pop songs with haunting back up vocals and restrained finger-picking, the album takes the listener on a lyrical adventure with vivid imagery. But Hynes lets out his lighter side in the closing bars of “The Flesh Failures” when he breaks into a rendition of the Fifth Dimension’s “Let the Sunshine In.” With Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis on production duty, Hynes successfully injects his UK roots into the sad-bastard folk sounds of the Midwest. Galaxy of the Lost is a fantastic album with the ability to breathe life into the heavily saturated fringe folk scene. (Andrew Seale)

CD, Domino Records,

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