Foot Ox

It's Like Our Little Machine
(Distant Colony Records)

Attend a number of Foot Ox concerts, and you'll normally see project founder Teague Cullen, by himself, frantically running through a repertoire of singer-songwriter tunes about love and hope. His second album in as many years, It's Like Our Little Machine, slows things down a bit, leaving space for exceptional musicians such as cello player Aaron Neber, accordionist Andrew Jemsek, and Bri White on keys, backup vocals, and small instrument percussion. The effort features many of the songs from his live sets — such as "Above the Ocean," "I Am," and "Mary" — but with different twists in the form of an egg beater played in time and medicinal noise elements. The record's most eyebrow-raising moment occurs during "Cough Blood on the Moon Soon," when songwriter Kelly Sheridan spouts modern-day spoken word while backed by a tribal techno beat. It may be slightly out of place with the remainder of the disc, but the tune just adds that much more curiosity to a catchy, well-rounded record. This is stuff on the cutting edge of what's going on not only in Tempe and Phoenix but the nationwide folk-centric scene.

 
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