Melissa Rodenbeek and Hiram Lucke are The Harvey Girls, a brilliantly eccentric husband-and-wife psych-pop band from Portland, Oregon. Their latest release, Sidereal Time (Circle Into Square), combines pop lullabies with lush experimental sound to create the perfect soundtrack for a mellow, dreamy night. Recorded by Hiram at the couple’s house, Sidereal Time draws from a strangely beautiful array of influences—baroque pop, early Disney soundtracks, bluegrass, and country—to create placid and enveloping songs like opener "Moonrise" (featuring guitar and noises from Benoit Pioulard). A lucky $20 nylon-string acoustic guitar find inspired "Here’s to Hoping Your Heroes Are Real" and "Crows in Grass," while friends Josh Millard and Cord Amato added banjo and saz (a Turkish stringed instrument) to the mix. Strings, horns, brass, saws, pianos, and glockenspiels ornament the arrangements; tight vocal harmonies warm them. Snippets of natural and artificial sounds subtly underscore each song’s otherworldly appeal. Despite its sleepy and surreal sound, Sidereal Time’s lyrics focus on hard realities: the lives of those who are nameless-but-famous (the horse-diving rider in "Ft Worth, 1963" and "She Rode Flying Horses") or holding onto something beloved as it fades ("Picher, Nowata"). As The Harvey Girls’ most sophisticated and mature recording to date, Sidereal Time is filled with dreams and the sad and lovely music they make as they drift away.
The album is available as a limited-edition CDR with handmade covers and a 12-page illustrated booklet (which also comes with the download) and as a high-quality digital download.