Jana Hunter: Carrion
However lovely, we can't help but wonder if Carrion is all that necessary. The EP, following close on the heels of this past spring's stellar full-length There's No Home, is essentially an outtakes disc, six tracks of glittering refuse. The first three are trimmings from Home, and the following three are alternate takes on Home material, including a first-draft version of that album's languid, spare, and ultimately soaring title track that's so near the final we'd almost rather it be awful.
It isn't, of course; There's No Home was one of our favorite records to come out of the latter-day out-folk scenery this year, which is most of the reason this is so unfulfilling. "Och, Uuh," a woodsy, meandering, and very "freak folk" song that breaks from Hunter's poppier side, doesn't look all that different from Carrion's perspective. Neither does the acoustic version of "Oracle," whose simple, satisfying hooks translate just the same without the electric-piano accompaniment. Unsurprisingly, the best moments come from the new-to-us tracks. "You Will Take It and Like It" is an odd instrumental of acoustic-guitar tangents mostly remarkable for how conspicuous it is that Hunter's reedy, vaguely dudelike vocals are absent, and that the song still kinda works. How "A Goblin, a Goblin"-a melancholic, violin-accompanied few minutes of lovely-got cut from There's No Home is beyond us; the track alone is almost worth this companion disc's full-price. Almost.