Former Page France frontman Michael Nau helms The Cotton Jones Basket Ride, a tuneful outfit that accommodates his various muses. With a full-length due later this year, Nau is rolling out a series of EPs. The first one is titled "Archery," and it shoots for something more in line with The Velvet Underground than anything from recent decades. Nau hardly sings like the same nasally guy that fronted Page France, instead favoring a deadpan Lou Reed delivery backed by reverb-loaded guitar amps, brush drums and vintage keyboards. The whole affair is less folky than the kaleidoscopic indie-pop of Page France and more Northern soul; a welcome left turn from a songwriter who wears multiple hats without looking foolish.From the home studio of a tiny two-bedroom apartment at 11th and Tennessee to local stages, Ample Branches has grown into one of Lawrence's brightest new bands during the course of a busy year. The group's 16-song debut "True Vine" merits an honorary degree from the academy of innovative home recording-it would be "lo-fi" if only if weren't so well produced. Fans of homespun indie bands like The Microphones, The Books and Animal Collective will dig the collection immediately, but its more populist touchstones-The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Sufjan Stevens-lend "True Vine" an across-the-universe appeal.
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