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Rhapsody Top 10 Country Albums, March 2012

8. I See Hawks in L.A.
New Kind of Lonely
Song titles hint at a caosmic American sound, and the opening strains of “Bohemian Highway” confirm just that. I See Hawks in L.A. recorded New Kind of Lonely live in the studio, capturing a compelling, uncluttered sound; there’s plenty of breathing room for lush harmonies and dark, yet often humorous, lyrics. Tales of gentrification (“Highland Park Serenade”) sit next to wistful stories of the past (“I Fell in Love With the Grateful Dead”) and sallow salutes to death (“The Spirit of Death,” “Big Old Hypodermic Needle”) — all blooming under the gentle sway of guitars and their symmetrical singing. [L.R.]

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