Press - Telescopic
Reviews for my second album TELESCOPIC
Released on Drag City Records in October 1998
More reviews are over here
Produced by Adam and Eve (Neil Hagerty and Jennifer
Herrema from Royal Trux), Telescopic
is a fuzzed-out, distorted-sound
melange that, surprisingly is a great match for Frost's haunting beautiful
songs. Don't worry, you can take the girl outta the country, but you
can't take the country outta the girl. It's still 100% Edith Frost that
rocks a little harder than the truly amazing Calling Over Time
like that too!
- Julie Underwood
A little more earthbound than the hazy Calling Over
. No less inspired, though.
- Mike Appelstein
Edith Frost gets loud! Well, relatively loud, for a woman who previously was being lumped into the alt-country crowd. Frost, discovered through a demo that was discovered at the bottom of the "for review bin" at Drag City, bulks things up on her latest. The distorto-guitar that opens the album with "Walk on the Fire" is a clear indication that things are a little different this time around. This is both a good and a bad thing. While it is nice to hear Ms. Frost bulk up her sound, and her lyrics are still starkly truthful the one thing that seems a bit buried is her voice. For a woman who has been compared to Patsy Cline and Billie Holiday in the live setting, Telescopic
has Ms. Frost sounding awfully similar to Liz Phair (vocally, NOT stylistically). It's a mixed bag as Ms. Frost is definitely improving and growing into a stronger and more fully realized musical presence,
but it would just be nicer if her fine voice could shine through a little more.
- Jim Kopeny
Cream of the Crop (U.K.), 1999...
American laid back female vocals, it's got great inspiring laid back beats, that pick at you and spin you in and out. "The Very Earth" starts up with an acoustic country slide sounding guitar bit, which gives you a feeling of Elvis coming in at any time and shout "Reach For The Sky Boy", but Edith mellows in, with her angel-esque
tones. The whole LP is laid back indie sounds though.
(Columbia, SC), November 1998...
This is Edith Frost's second full-length album, in which she refines her fuzz-laden, roots indie rock stylings with a clearer vision and better songwriting. The album is laced with country sounding instruments, though, Frost rarely allows herself to become a cliché. Her voice is a tamer version of Kristen Hersh's with much less vibrato, but her lyrics revel in the same melancholy that Hersh's do. The songs are awash in reverb and simple chord progressions. Her voice is multi-tracked creating an icy atmosphere that lives up to her name.
Frost often surrounds her unrelenting self-examination with clouds of feedback and distortion. Her clean voice cuts right through the fuzz making songs like "You Belong To No One" and "Bluish Bells" especially effective and memorable. The background sound effects give the retro folk music a futuristic feel. Her cold sounding voice counteracts the personal slant of the lyrics giving Telescopic
the perfect balance of intimacy and restraint. Frost often sounds like she's holding back, but that seems to raise the tension in her subtle music just enough. It's as though if she were to cut completely loose it would be a let down compared to the brief glimpse of what could have been.
(Toronto, Canada), Winter 1998...
Telescopic opens with a big rock wind-up that will bowl over fans approaching Edith Frost's new album in search of the same old, same old. Frost, who started her career with Drag City by posting the Chicago label a EP of homespun songs recorded in her Manhattan bed-sit, has made a name for herself as a new-era troubadour. Since relocating to Chicago, she has broadened her sonic palette thanks to guest stars from the Windy City's vibrant indie rock scene. But the crunch of "Walk on the Fire," which recalls Barbara Manning's work with the S.F. Seals, passes the torch to more familiar Frost balladry. Haunted is a good word to describe Frost's world in song, but homey works too. That duality is what makes Frost's compositions so attractive. One of the most engaging songwriters to debut in the past four years, Frost is hardly a household name, but anyone who has heard her sing her songs of sexual chemistry and sleepwalking wanderlust won't soon forget her talent.
- Christopher Waters
Texas native Edith Frost makes shoegazer twang -- imagine Patsy Cline sitting in with Flying Saucer Attack -- and she has a gift for weaving alternately sunny and foreboding melodies. Frost's hurtin' prose reveals her country pedigree, but her voice has the angelic detachment Slowdive were so fond of. "Walk on the Fire", "The Very Earth" and the title track are the standouts, but Telescopic on the whole is a gauzy confection that evokes images of astral projection as much as it does
- Andre Mayer
Eye Deal (New York, NY), November 1998...
With the opening crackle of an electric guitar we know this is not going to be the wispy lower-than-low-key Edith we've come to know. Not that this is a shiny happy Ms. Frost, she still has a bull's share of the market on melancholy. But, on this release she seems poised to laugh in the face of pain rather than wrap herself up in her favorite old blanket and hide away from the world. The stakes have been raised in no small part due to the production by the mysterious Adam and Eve. The sound is crisp and biting, even on the most downbeat of tracks Edith's voice sparkles as guitars snake around her and steady drums prod her on. Depression never sounded more fun.
- Joe Rockpants
(Calgary, Canada), September 17, 1998...
A scratch 'n' sniff sticker of what heartache smells like is the only thing missing from Edith Frost's breathtakingly thorough album. Confessional songs about getting closer to love or being brushed off or being in love or letting wistful tears drop into the dust. Like laying on a grassy hill and gazing up into the sky trying to make sense out of clouds, stars or your own life, Frost delivers stunning intimacy to the listener.
Serene and mellow, Telescopic is delicate but gripping, purely endearing and saturated with sincerity. A bit of twang, a touch of lo-fi and a pinch of lulling feedback imbues every second with subtle beauty. Her weightless voice is crisp and flawless -- simple, tender vocals with minimalist lyrics about love and loneliness make this introspective collection a bittersweet indulgence of emotion.
Fans of Elliott Smith and Lisa Germano should not overlook this cowgirl's stirring masterpiece. If the lyrics don't make your heart sink, the caressing melodies and Frost's guileless voice will... and it hurts so good.
- Aubrey McInnis
Petersburg, FL), Winter 1998...
Calling Over Time
established Edith Frost as the icy cool chanteuse of the Chicago altcountry scene. Frost got her start playing in rockabilly bands in her native Austin.1
She later moved to New York, where
she cut the demos that would land her on the Drag City label.2
Shortly after signing with Drag City, Frost moved to Chicago and quickly found a place within the city's diverse musical community. Calling Over Time
featured a stellar cast of Chicago-area musicians that included members of Pinetop Seven,3
Eleventh Dream Day and Gastr Del Sol. The sympathetic backing of these fine players helped establish Edith Frost as the Patsy Cline of the Prozac generation.
Conventional wisdom would suggest following up Calling Over Time
with more of the same. There is nothing conventional about Edith Frost. For her new CD, Telescopic
, Edith called on the production team of Adam and Eve (Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux). From the opening fuzz-guitar riff, you can feel the influence of the Virginia-based production team. "Walk on the Fire" has a rough sound that fits a song about manipulation and betrayal.
In their own way, Hagerty and Herrema prove to be as able to realize Edith's musical vision as her Drag City mates from Chicago. Edith still sounds quietly meditative on songs like "On Hold". Telescopic
shows us Edith Frost in a different light, but it's still flattering. The stark arrangements suit the songs, and the added grit accents the emotions of the lyrics nicely. Telescopic
is a record that you can listen to over and over again and still discover nuances.
- Bob Pomeroy
I only played in one rockabilly band, and that was in NYC.
I was doing demos well before I moved to New York.
No members of Pinetop 7 appear on Calling Over Time
; Ryan Hembrey appears on Telescopic
Great God Pan (California), Winter 1998...
Adam and Eve have certainly done Edith Frost
right. They've produced an acoustic guitar-based
minimalist-space-rock album. Elusive, irregular, and glistening,
these songs are preciously crafted, drawing out the sorrow of which
Frost so often sings. Furry guitar solos, sparkling percussion,
touching violins, and double harmonies. Somewhere in the
background there is a spooky electronic musical instrument.
Amon Düül II, Ash Ra Temple, Edith Frost. Slow and
loose and incredibly sad: our favorite 'lil songbird still sings
from her badly broken heart. The only problem with this record
is that it is incredibly hard to take when you feel exactly the same
way that Edith seems to feel. She sings, "I'd like to be
your mirror / before it's someone else's turn / and try to get it
right / and hope my karma improves." Turn off the lights,
crawl into bed, stare at the ceiling. Frost sometimes posts
candid diary entries and strange dreams on her website
(www.edithfrost.com). There is a "stoopid jokes" list
to join. There are beautiful images of her, and some flustered
self-portraits, to view. She comes across like a straight-shooting
goofball. She seems like she'd be good to drink tequila with, a
lot of tequila.
Canada), October 22-28, 1998...
It didn't matter that Edith Frost's '97 album
"Calling Over Time" flashed major glitterati from the upper
indie world -- David Grubbs and Jim O'Rourke (Gastr del Sol) and Sean
O'Hagan (High Llamas and Stereolab) included -- it was still an
under-appraised gem. Maybe that was because Frost's gentle drizzles of
strange-pop were as cold as her collaborators' personas, maybe they were
somehow made cold -- and/or unaccessible -- by them. It could be. Now
that this delicate artist has changed her players, that chilly, distinctly
distant sound is gone. On "Telescopic", Frost warms up to her
shy songs and cuddles with their quirkiness, then melts the bleak down
- Ilana Kronick
Note: Funny she didn't mention writing a really crappy review of Calling Over Time
for another magazine!!
My tardiness in reviewing this album affords me the luxury of already knowing what others have written. Who cares if the guitar fuzz of the first song marks a departure from her last mostly acoustic melodramatic affair? And yes, the instrumentation is much more varied, but I can't believe that the reason I've been listening to this album so much more than Frost's first album is due to the addition of a violin on track whatever or steel guitar on track so and so. Maybe the addition of drums is the key here, but I would like to think that what Frost is actually saying is what has made the difference for me. Let's move on to another topic for a bit. The voice of Edith Frost is reason enough to hear this. Her voice is confident enough to relax upon execution and let words sink under their own weight. Any sharp edges are smoothed out until they're seductive and intoxicating.
- Chad Bidwell
Jitter Magazine, February 1999...
Edith Frost's songs do what no other music can do. To say that these songs take you to another place would be cliché, however, it would be the truth. I'm not saying that this music will transport you to Paris on a balmy summer night, not that kind of different place. Frost's songs have always been a sort of trap door to a rarely explored part of the mind, an area where you are numb to the world but you can see all that is going on. You can look with this part of your mind and separate yourself from the events unfolding around you and take in a new perspective on many a thing. Frost's slow, mostly acoustic music shrouds your thoughts in a mesmerizing fog, allowing her words to flow straight to the deepest depths of your mind.
Fans of Frost's self-titled EP and subsequent full-length, Calling Over Time
, may be a bit shocked as the opening track, "Walk On The Fire", begins with some rather loud, crunchy guitar. Telescopic
is a step in a new direction and although it doesn't sound exactly like the Edith Frost you've come to know from Calling Over Time
, you will certainly recognize Frost's soft, airy vocals. The music on Telescopic
adds a new dimension to Frost's vocals that is really stunning. Frost's past work was pretty much the woman with the guitar and her voice. Telescopic
is more like the woman with her guitar and her voice, walking unnoticed through a city of sound. Quiet moments are interrupted with a skyscraper of distortion, but these things do not affect Frost's calm demeanor.
Check out some of these new gems for yourself. "The Very Earth", "Light", "Are You Sure?", and the title track are wonderful displays of Frost's beautiful voice. "Falling" and "Bluish Bells" demonstrate the simplicity and sincerity of Frost's
lyrics. These songs are simple, but beautiful. Telescopic
benefits from layered guitar and vocals in a way
that Calling Over Time
only dreamed of. Also of note are the various subtleties in Frost's songs. You'll find an underlying country sound, there are string sections that blend with guitar sections, and there are even various moods scattered (intentionally or not) throughout some songs. What seems like a pretty straightforward album contains many secrets and surprises.
is a wonderful record that will continue to delight with each consecutive listen. Edith Frost's songs are calming, stunning, and intriguing while always retaining their beauty. Congratulations to Frost and everyone who was involved with this album, this is truly great work.
- Jesse Croom
What if Karen Carpenter had been an only child? Or perhaps had an encouraging older sister with an eclectic record collection? It's possible she would have put her beautiful voice to better use than on the cloying strains of "Rainy Days and Mondays," and instead made music something like Edith Frost. There aren't any horn charts on her second release, Telescopic
-- in fact, the music is in the vein of Galaxy 500, which is not a bad vein for someone with Frost's sinewy voice to follow. Frost probably has more in common with Liz Phair than Karen Carpenter -- the Liz who is moving beyond her naughty-girl-singing-about-sex posturing. Of course, Frost does sing about relationships. She's a woman with a guitar; she has to sing about love, but she doesn't have to give in to the obvious or titillating. Her perspective is that of someone who's weathered hard times and now makes eloquent use of her experience. On "You Belong to No One" Frost's sage advice is, "You can be happy with someone who loves you / you can be lonely with someone you trust / you can't just tell your heart where it should go / 'cause darlin' you know / you'll only be given the tiniest chance." Frost's own success is the result of a tiny chance: She sent her unsolicited demo tape to Drag City, and, once the tape was unearthed, her talent was immediately recognized. It's the stuff movies are made of, and Telescopic is the perfect soundtrack. Sure beats the Karen Carpenter story.
- Dawn Pomento
Loudpaper (Berkeley, CA), January 1999...
Edith Frost's minimal guitar, violin, drums
and tambourine arrangements are the musical equivalent of Donald
Judd's Marfa compound. Both her music and the Minimalist's
artist ranch offer Zen-like, beautiful desolation, with a slide
Originally from Austin, Texas, singer-songwriter
Frost arrived in Chicago by way of New York and recorded the album
Calling Over Time
for Drag City. Her latest album, Telescopic
, proves that she has the sweetest drone in the
business. The title song, "Telescopic", brings together fragments of images. The poetic lines such as "When they come from the bar / There in the night / Telescopic / And laughing out to the street" are strung together with achingly simple melodies. The spaces in-between the lines convey an endless horizon in the pitch-black night.
Frost's album isn't all country. Her exodus from Texas and her travels to the Northeast have added a gritty edge to her music. Fiddle parts distort mid-song. The song "Light" has a Mo Tucker tambourine part. The closest thing to a pop song on the album is the song "You Belong To Me." (sic)
Frost replaces the love-me-do's of pop with a chorus of "You'll always be lonely." Her lyrics are Spartan-melancholic and make the legendary Patsy Cline look downright giddy.
The Met (Dallas, TX), November 11, 1998...
On Edith Frost's latest, Telescopic
(Drag City), the native Texan singer-songwriter's voice is instantly recognizable -- simultaneously welcoming and haunting -- while her music falls gracefully between country twang, indie rock, and lounge as she poignantly sings of heartbreak. Warm up with Miss Frost.
- Holly Jefferson
Edith Frost has released a new record, and judging by the amount of electricity she added to her sound, Ms. Frost was tired of being drowned out by the Chicago social clubs masquerading as concertgoers. Her new CD, "Telescopic" (Drag City), dramatically changes directions from her previously ultra-spare, acoustic sound, adding electric guitar and an eerie sound texturing. The songwriting takes a different direction as well, with a nearly hallucinogenic quality added to her kitten-soft, perfect-pitched voice. Only the last song, "Are You Sure?", is reminiscent of the Edith Frost of old, while the record's opening track, "Walk on the Fire," is almost noisy, and three others ("On Hold," "You Belong to No One" and "My Capture") are the kind of material the college kids seem to love. A major move forward by Ms. Frost.
- Dave Chamberlain
BC), February 1999...
I always greet new efforts from new artists that I really like with a mixed bag of dread and enthusiasm -- incredibly happy to see new material, but worried that persons for whom I have had high regard might disappoint my inflated expectations.
Chicago chanteuse Edith Frost's Calling Over Time
was my favourite record of 1997. The album consisted of 11 acoustic country-blues numbers written in heartbreak and sung in hopeful resignation. Instead of simply recreating past endeavours she's expanded her pallette somewhat on Telescopic, which features a full band setup and a more rock-based sound to go with songs taht lyrically tend towards terseness and
anger than suffering silence. It's solid and a good second step -- I can't say it engages me as much as her last one, but I also haven't spent as much time with it either. If you're unfamiliar with her work pick up Calling Over Time
before investigating this, and if you already like her you're not going to be disappointed.
- Steve MacIsaac
Edith Frost's second full-length opens significantly noisier than its predecessor, surging into action with a curtain of feedback and the constant hiss of cymbals on "Walk On The Fire." With Frost's voice flattened and double-tracked and the lyrics concerned with jealousy and liars, "Walk On The Fire" might as well be Guyville's more famous daughter, Liz Phair.
But where Phair has used intimacy as the lens through which her songs view love (and most, less vital emotions), a catalog of finely scrutinized obsessions, Frost is far less specific. True to the album's title, she distances herself from the action even when writing in first person. A line like Let you prove your heart is colder than mine
is sung with hypnotic indifference. Nor do Frost's arrangements, here expanded and gracefully (and, past the first song, more quietly) executed by Ryan Hembrey and Rian Murphy, betray any fervor or rancor. Frost smothers her songs with the soft pillow of implication, but the results don't
And when she finally tightens her focus on the last two songs, promising on "Tender Kiss" to live in dreams of loneliness
against a beguiling sunset of flute, violin and ticking percussion, it's a resounding payoff. Pretend I never wrote to you, will I cast the songs aside
, Frost asks on the longer, more conventional-sounding closer "Are You Sure?" before letting her voice disappear whispering the title phrase. It's an admission and a taunt, and a fitting cap to an arresting song cycle that proves the long view can be terrifically compelling.
- Scott Wilson
Dream-voiced Frost coos and duets with herself over Pentanglesque backing from some of Chicago's finest. It's the sort of subtle, suggestive Americana that will get into your bones and make you remember things you’d thought forgotten.
- Kim Cooper
A resolved sense of despair echoes through Edith Frost's second record, Telescopic (Drag City), as if the Texas-bred Chicagoan reached an epiphany just as she walked through the studio doors. But if the message is that love's an elusive, fleeting and nearly hopeless emotion, Frost conveys the struggle with a poetic clairvoyance that doesn't weigh down her
music. Where her debut favored eerie folk guitar and piano arrangements, Frost and a fine cast of musicians -- not to mention producers Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux -- turn Telescopic into a luminescent treatise on loneliness and let-downs. Fuzzed-out guitars, kaleidoscopic organs, enveloping drums, and sprightly strings augment Frost's improved,
increasingly eclectic voice; no mere country-crooning knock-off, she strides confidently between roles as wounded pixie ("The Very Earth"), psychedelic maiden ("Walk on the Fire"), and shrewdly detached commentator ("Falling"). Frost's master stroke comes in the form of "You Belong To No One," a twisted bit of waltzing twang that swirls up suddenly like a tornado and enunciates the mixed-up notions of togetherness in such lines as "You can be happy with someone who loves you / You can be lonely with someone you trust."
- Richard A. Martin
Fans of low-fi dreamy-pop will fall for Frost's second CD on Drag City, which adds a measure of psychedelic pastiche to her sweet, subtle compositions. Fans of Barbara Manning and The Breeders should also feel at home with her alluring combination angst and frivolity that she employs with such smart effect.
"You Belong To No One" illustrates the contrast in stark Rubber Soulian detail, with its dark-catchy melody: You'll be lonely with your lover / you belong to no one / you'll be lonely by yourself
, and turns hummable -- practically giddy -- in the chorus: You can't just tell your heart where it should go / 'cause darlin' you know / there's only the tiniest chance / and you'll always be lonely / la la la la la la
"Bluish Bells" sounds like Liz Phair in her Cocteau Twins mode. But the album's highlight and antidote to "You Belong To No One" is "My Capture," a surreal country-tinged ballad in which Frost anticipates she and her beau crawling out of the primordial goo of undeclared love -- in various animal guises -- and out onto the bright, rocky shore. It's a sublime moment on an otherwise very accomplished sophomore effort.
- Adam Savetsky
(San Francisco, CA), January 29, 1999...
Chicago's Edith Frost is one of those rare singer/songwriters whose country-tinged vocals lean toward brethy etherealism and haunting moodiness, while still keeping a strong sense of clarity. It's like she ventures out to the beautiful and strange borders of pop melancholia, but you never feel like she's completely left her body or anything. She always leaves a trail of popcorn (or something equally tasty) to find her way back to the heart of the song. Frost's lyrics are often wistful and shy without living in the dreaded land of Dear Diary, which is thanks in large part to the arrangements. On her latest Drag City release Telescopic
she's found the fuzz in producers Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux. This is her first time touring out to the West Coast and I'm sure the Bottom of the Hill will be packed tonight.
- Mae Hemm
Sideshow (Atlanta, GA), December 1998...
My delightful coworker Richard was playing this CD one day as I walked in. I fell in love with it immediately. It sounds very lo-fi, Kim/Kelley Deal, indie-girl... uh, I'm not sure how to wrap up that description, but you get what I'm trying to say. It's cool, way cool. As we closed down the store that night, Richard gave me the CD. That's what makes him delightful.
- Shalewa Sharpe
Slap Magazine, December 1998...
I once thought of Edith Frost as a great folky singer-songwriter with a hauntingly sparse and lonesome vocal and musical style, armed only with her guitar and the occasional piano. I now think of her as a great folky singer-singwriter with a hauntingly sparse and lonesome vocal and musical style, armed with her guitar, the occasional piano, and the ability to play with a full band (and make use of electrical instruments, as well). Her last release, Calling Over Time
, was a quiet affair, very acoustic, and beautifully lonely and lovely. Telescopic
took me very much by surprise at first, and took a good couple listens to really see what had happened. Edith is now mixing the style I knew previously with a more (possibly) upbeat feeling, and certainly sound, which makes for quite a striking compound. The track "Bluish Bells" is so lovely and almost poppy that it really makes me smile. Somehow, the electricity and drums really add a punch to the music that was absent before, though it does not detract from the feature of the music, which of course is Edith's outstanding voice, filled with harmony, emotion, and the slightest bit of a wispy twang. With lyrics like "I'd like to be your mirror before it is someone else's turn, and try to get it right, and hope my karma improves," and songs like "On Hold," the new blend of style and content, Telescopic
and Ms. Frost are both ready to bring it to the next level.
- Mose Werthy
Soma (San Francisco, CA), November 1998...
Edith Frost is only 34 years old, but she has a serious "roots" thing going on. Maybe it's because she grew up in Texas, did the New York thing, played with a couple rockabilly and old-school country bands, and then made her first record, Calling Over Time
, with Jim O'Rourke and Sean O'Hagan. Calling Over Time
made her a star for her own kind of country and midwestern, but with her new full-length, Telescopic
Frost tones down the folk elements to focus on bits of fuzz guitar and vocal distortion. With a little instrumental and production help from her friends (including Rian Murphy of Royal Trux and Amy Domingues of Tsunami), Telescopic
is simplistic, romantic, and melodic -- a new kind of Frosty intellect.
- Amy Schroeder
This was much anticipated for me. It's no secret that this American singer's 1997 Trade 2 singles club release, Ancestors
, is amongst the spookiest, beautiful songs around. I played it again and again on repeat for what seemed like a week. But part of the success of that single could definitely be attributed to the richness of Kramer's production. So initially, I felt let down by the production and arrangements on Telescopic, but, yeah, not for long. Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind
, Cat Power's Moon Pix
, and PJ Harvey's Is This Desire
are the only other albums of songs that haunt me in such a way. Or else, in its dusty, lost highway soundscapes, I'm reminded of two very fine albums with Giant Sand affiliations in the last year and a half, Calexico's The Black Light
and OP8's Slush
. What it's all about is loss and more loss. At least that's the case on my favorite track on this album, "Tender Kiss," where she thinks of what was once, what could have been, and convinces you that she is the person to ever sing, "You'll never fall in love again." And it does help that it sounds like she's accompanied by a Mariachi band. I can't wait to play this on a long hot
Edith Frost is highly underrated in the land of female singer-songwriters. While everybody raves over Liz Phair and Cat Power, I find them writing rather shallow material from too personal a vantage point. Frost writes from your vantage point - sometimes it's as though you are singing to her, not the other way around. Enlisting the best talent she can find to join her on a journey into to manic melancholy further enhances already solid material. Sean O'Hagan (High Llamas) appeared on her first full length, 1996's Calling Over Time
, a stark look inside two of Frost's greatest obsessions: unrequited love, and death (not anywhere near as boring as it sounds). On her latest release, Telescopic
, Edith's back with more ace musicians including cellist Amy Domingues (who's played with Tsunami), violinist Jean Cook, and an uncredited Neil Hagerty of Royal Trux. Surprised? Well hold onto your fannies, because Hagerty and fellow Truxter Jennifer Herrema produced the disc! Frightened? I was too! But it seems as though working with "Adam & Eve Productions" has allowed Frost to rise far above the simplicity of her style. Her trademark harmony intervals (actually illegal in the 18th century) are still present alongside her cloudy, quiet voice. But where Calling Over Time
made you think of many a tear-drenched night with its heavy, sad pianos, Telescopic
actually gets happy in a carnival sort of way, especially on "falling" and "my capture." The use of jangle reaches ludicrous proportions on "you belong to no one," where Frost sings a cheerful, "you'll always be lonely," over and over. But there's still heartbreak on the simple waltz "through the trees." Telescopic as a whole is decidedly psychedelic from the get-go. If the title track doesn't have you convinced after you've already heard the opener "walk on the fire," then "tender kiss" will be the decider for you. The selective instrumentation coupled with Frost's gorgeous harmonies on this love ballad makes the track completely delightful. These heavier tracks are the real gems between the standard Frost, the folksy middle-America, Neil Young sound, like on "light," complete with fiddle, and "the very earth," complete with steel guitar. Edith Frost is like a dark bar on a lonesome Texas highway, where you'd have a stiff drink made with a shot of Mazzy Star, a twist of Cowboy Junkies, and a dash of Judy Garland. Frost is an incredible talent with impressive breadth, and she's the master of understatement. Telescopic
is a refreshing follow up to Calling Over Time
and definitely one of the best artists Drag City has to offer.
Frost's vocal style is a beautifully listenable, languid, under-the-breath kind of shocking. You want to lean into the speakers and pretend she's whispering right into your very own ears when she breathes, "Got to give you time... to prove your heart is colder than mine."
Vice, October 1998...
This is the second full length Edith Frost release for Drag City, following up last year's Calling Over Time
. Frost teeters between the softer side of country and pop, with ultra sweet vocals and personal lyrics. Fuller instrumentation this time around and even a little distorted guitar in a few tracks makes for a less folk sounding album, without compromising the introspection of her work. A good soundtrack to a reflective fall.
Warp Magazine, 1999...
While surpassing members of Gastr Del Sol and the High Llamas (who blessed her debut LP), Edith Frost still yearns for a piety similar to the nouveau-country hymns of Will Oldham. But unlike Oldham, she keeps her Western virtues at bay, opting for an Eastern canon (she's been known to quote Hindu dogma) that borders on the bizarre. Her breathy vocals on Telescopic
reside somewhere between Liz Phair and Julee Cruise (by coincidence, both Frost and Cruise perform a song titled "Falling") and are perpetually deep with fervor and thought. But if you've heard any of Frost's other material, this will come as no surprise.