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The High Llamas

Barney Hoskyns, unpublished, 1997

THERE IS nothing quite like the High Llamas, even at a time when symphonic "mood music" is all the rage and neo-easy listening has become the new rock and roll. Imagine the Beach Boys of Pet Sounds and the lost Smile, but filtered through the wistful sound of ’60s movie soundtracks and the peerless pop melodies of Burt Bacharach, then overlaid with Steely Dan licks and Stereolab synthesizers. Imagine experimental orchestral music of uncanny beauty, paired with lyrics that recall the dazzling verse of Smile lyricist Van Dyke Parks.

Total word count of piece: 1120