Rickolus, otherwise known as Richard Colado, has a way of filling out fragile folk melodies with bittersweet bravado, so that verses murmur and harmonica-and-accordion-stuffed choruses soar. His “9th Street to San Pablo” expands from a plaintive acoustic guitar song, into a marching band’s bluster, then flowers into vocal profusion at its extremity, sounding very much like Neutral Milk Hotel’s “King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1”
Indeed the shadow of Jeff Magnum hangs over Troubadour: Roads, in the jaunty surreality of its lyrics, as well as the major-to-minor-shaded melodies. There is even a burst into lo-fi rock exuberance a la “Holland, 1945” late in the album with “We Paint the Rocks Gold.” Both NMH and Rickolus have the trick of sounding absolutely natural — and also absolutely strange — at the same moment.
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