Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

It's tough to classify Graig Markel's Tall Tales on Tape. The fourth full-length release by this Seattle-based musician is an engagingly beautiful but quirky album, full of jagged indie-rock guitars, soaring solos, pianos and Wurlitzers. Tall Tales on Tape is a feel-good yet dark album; it's power rock and sexy soul; it's sensual, brooding, and enticing.

Released on Sonic Boom Recordings, Tall Tales on Tape weaves stories into your psyche. Markel {who is a mainstay in the Seattle scene} worked on other local projects, including New Sweet Breath and Tagging Satellites before going solo several years ago. His voice is fragile and monotonous, yet surprisingly emotional, and his storytelling is beautiful. The lyrics for each song may not be stretch beyond a few sentences, but the choice words emit visceral, visual pictures. "It's late night. We'll hang five. Throw my keys out the window, you're very tired" read more than half of the entire lyrics to "Wings" — but the words tell more in those few lines than many intricately woven lyrics can.

Highlights include the moody "Seasons in the Shroud," the gorgeous "Wings" and "Water to the Flames." And in the closing track, the lilting "Your Favorite Colors," Markel swoops into falsetto as he breathes, "I'm a loaded poet and you're a ballerina in flames…" who wouldn't swoon?

Ultimately what it comes down: this is a great makeout record. Now go find a kissing partner!