Call it the paradox of good taste: The most intriguing and artistically satisfying books, films, and music are always the most difficult to quantify and classify. Take, for instance, the delirious cinematic fantasias crafted by director Wes Anderson, or the literary light-speed madness of author Dave Eggers, or the beautifully damaged, slightly off-kilter music of the Indiana-based collective Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s. Speaking of Anderson, Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s not only draw their name from Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in The Royal Tenenbaums, but the band has also been known to project sequences from Anderson’s films onstage during their sets—it’s not hard to make the logical leap that Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s are a sort of aural analogue to Anderson’s masterful, warped visions. Likewise masterful with a surprisingly tender emotional core, The Dust of Retreat, Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s debut album is willfully unclassifiable; dense, literate, and ever so slightly frayed, Edwards’s evocative vignettes (“On A Freezing Chicago Street,” “Jen Is Bringing The Drugs”) amble along, content to etch brief moments in time in sharp relief. The only Dust that should surround this breathtaking debut is that of the crowds rushing to pick this up from store shelves.
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