Placer Found

Early Day Miners

Secretly Canadian Records, 2020

http://www.earlydayminers.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/18/2020

Originally released on the Western Vinyl label in 2000, Placer Found was the first record released by the New Orleans residents Early Day Miners, which set the pace for a lengthy career – one that is still very active today – of many fantastic albums in the alt-rock, slow core, and post-rock ilk.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Now available for the first time on vinyl, this treasure is alive again and remixed and remastered, and even features 15+ minutes of unreleased material taken from the original Placer Found sessions.

The album leads with the title track, where elegant guitar and brushed percussion emits a soothing setting as hushed vocals complement the affair. “East Berlin At Night” continues the mood with whispering amid agile and atmospheric texturing.

Deeper into the record, “In These Hills” offers nine minutes of light guitars with an ambient backdrop and cinematic appeal, while “Stanwix” is artistic and meticulous slow core that's nearly meditative. The longest track from the original release, “Desert Cantos,” unfolds with 12+ minutes of hazy keys, strategically placed vocals, and dreamy harmonica in a surreal landscape that few could replicate.

The two unreleased tracks that bookend the record are both instrumental. “Prospect Refuge,” one of the most intricate tunes on the release, builds into a quicker pace of calming song craft, and “Blue Casino” exits the listen with a darker quality amid cascading beauty that bursts into a louder, fuller version of their inimitable prowess near the end.

If you're unfamiliar with Early Day Miners, this is certainly a great starting point as it's an eye catching package in a double LP format. If you've already spent time with Placer Found in its original form, this reissue is worth perusing for the new material, as it's so well done it's quite surprising that it wasn't part of the original album.

Rating: A-

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