The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSICREVIEWS - JIM CAR­ROLL

We the Com­mon Rib­bon Mu­sic

Thao Nguyen has come a long way. The in­no­cent free­wheel­ing and strum­ming on 2008’s We Brave Bee Stings and All led to a more know­ing aware­ness on Know Bet­ter Learn Faster a year later. Now, nearly four years on and with time off from tour­ing and record­ing to re­fresh her, Nguyen’s lyri­cal con­cerns have be­come more com­mu­nal. It’s not quite “who are the peo­ple in your neigh­bour­hood?”, but Nguyen is seek­ing to re­flect what com­mu­nity does for a per­son’s well-be­ing and sense of place. Mu­si­cally, she and her band are sharp op­er­a­tors, throw­ing play­ful shapes with­out wa­ter­ing down the songs’ mi­cro-po­lit­i­cal edge. The ti­tle track is a key link in Nguyen’s new thought process, but the likes of Holy Roller and Kind­ness Be Con­ceived (a duet with Joanna Newsome) are also im­por­tant mark­ers to a new di­rec­tion. thaoandtheget­down­stay­ Down­load: We the Com­mon, Holy Rollers

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