David Davison might be a wizard. Exhibit A: the superhuman technical feats he accomplishes as guitarist and frontman for Chicago math-rock darlings Maps & Atlases. Exhibit B: his Dumbledore-esque facial hair and imperative solo project, Cast Spells. Davison shines on Maps' spectacular 2010 release, Perch Patchwork, but his organic melodies and if-Joanna-Newsom-were-a-dude vocal delivery can be overshadowed by the band's speed-demon nerd-outs. Cast Spells, in contrast, brings his inner folk singer into more intimate lighting. The project's acoustic guitar and sparse percussion spatterings — as heard on 2009's Bright Works and Baton EP and a split with indie-cred soldiers Good Old War — are a delightful exercise in extraterrestrial Americana.
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