Lithics: Wendy Kraemer 12” (Moone Records)
Portland’s Lithics have been around for a few years now, having released two full-lengths and an incredible single on Thrilling Living, which featured one of my favorite songs of the past several years, “Photograph, You of.” Wendy Kraemer, though, isn’t a new full-length but a vinyl re-release of an earlier cassette. Lithics’ sound on their other records is stoic, precise, and maybe even a little cold, but Wendy Kraemer is different, collecting practice tapes, home recordings, and other less polished audio artifacts. You’ll recognize many of the songs from the versions that appeared on the records, but these versions are loose, warm, and intimate. It feels like looking through a great artist’s sketchbook, and I love it. If you’re a fan of Lithics, this is a must-hear, but there’s no reason that unfamiliarity should stop you from sampling this lo-fi gem.