The debut release from this English duo culls its mostly instrumental pieces from several years of Walkman-taped sessions conducted under bridges and by lakes. The disc is all about guitar: sunny splashes that hark back to ’60s Floyd, twangy, melancholy Nick Drake-ish turns (“The Lost Afternoon”), and sounds that bear some kinship with the freaky electric blues of fellow English moderns Spacemen 3 and Bevis Frond (“Where Angels Walk”). Otherwise, it’s got little to do with ’90s rock. Lineage aside, the music is precious and unparalleled, managing to sound huge and otherworldly despite its lo-fi production, and only occasionally becoming too folky-strummy. The record migrates unhindered, but follows an invisible thread of time-as-space metaphor, as in the hymn-flavored “Scenes From a Spanish Railway,” in which life is taken in as we watch it go by, witnessing both a river’s drift and the land’s passing. At the same time, the Marilyn Decade sanctifies stillness and settling down (much of the album was recorded at a cottage called “The Most Beautiful House in the World”). Its pastoral meditations go ungraced by human voice until late in the record, when “Love” is explored to gentle, faltering, heart-rending accompaniment. The Marilyn Decade saves the most intricate arrangement for last, however, locating it fittingly “Where the River Meets the Sea”: Shuffling percussion underscores mournful bleating, a tinny anvil’s crack, and the nearby but distant echo of a sonorous bell.—Michael Wiener

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