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Picastro Whore Luck

Picastro singer Liz Hysen's voice carries a bruise like few can. Gravelly, ghostly, and eerily sweet, its melancholy soaks through the Toronto collective's music like a month-long rain. Before Whore Luck, the music was a simpler ragged guitar-and-cello-based folk. Here, the arrangements swell: "Hortur" nods to The Dirty Three, while others hint at early Godspeed You Black Emperor! (the arcing violin of "All Erase," in fact, screams it). Still, even a well-suited cameo by Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart can't distract from Hysen's voice, or the bite within it: "You fuck like you want to be a friend of mine" she sings coyly. Picastro pulls no punches here, giving us their sharpest, most arresting album to date.

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