A review by Douglas Wolk that appeared in Salon

Singer-guitarist Edith Frost operates within an indie-rock context, but her songs draw mostly on the country torch song tradition. Her first EP and the subsequent Calling Over Time were spare, echoing records, with nothing present but what was needed to present Frost’s voice and words in a way that wouldn’t seem too stark. Telescopic, though, is a fully (if oddly) produced pop record if you listen to its slow, pacing arrangements — blasting drums hidden in the background and Amy Domingues’ cello ripping through the mix on the opening "Walk on the Fire," layered Liz Phair-ish guitars and eerie instrumental details turning up elsewhere — and the darkest, most late-night record she’s made if you pay attention to its melodies and words.

Like the best country singers, Frost has a warm, instantly recognizable voice, and she’s got a melismatic technique that’s all hers: softly grasping onto a note, holding it for a moment, then bending it up and back down again, like a steel bar in a strongman’s hands. But what she’s really picked up from the Hank Williams and Patsy Cline records that inform Telescopic is the secret of describing universal experiences in ways that feel personal, using language so simple that it skirts both writerliness and cliché. Take the first verse of "Tender Kiss": "Oh it hurts to stare at your picture/and think of how it could have been/but you said something about/how you’ll never fall in love again." This is only schmaltzy if you’re not paying attention. It’s also absolutely true, and beneath the half-familiar phrases is a very modern perplex: the romance that fails in a way that frustrates the idea of blame. Even more wrenching is "The Very Earth," a challenge to "let you prove your heart is colder than mine" — the heart she’s presenting isn’t cold at all, but she sings like she wishes she could chill it. What she’s writing about is the deepest of everyday darknesses: to be lonely even in love, and to see how that loneliness might not have an end.