DAMON & NAOMI: More Sad Hits [20/20/20]

After Galaxie 500 burned to the ground in 1991 at the hands of frontman Dean Wareham’s blazing ego, drummer Damon Krukowski and bassist Naomi Yang retreated and, as they outline in the liner notes to this reissue, “turned our attention to other artistic pursuits: painting, writing, publishing books.” Lucky for us, G500 producer Kramer coaxed the couple back into the studio. Freed, as they put it, from Wareham’s “bad energy” and enthralled by Kramer’s trove of recording gear, Damon & Naomi made the most of their second act, Yang’s ethereal vocals supplying an instant signature as they essayed the peripatetic, slide-guitar dream pop of “E.T.A.,” the strummy freak-folk of “Laika” and more. From the vivid Man Ray photo adorning the sleeve (now a mini-LP design) to a bluesy cover of Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper’s “Memories” and a Twin Peaks-esque take on Claudine Longet’s “This Changing World,” 1992’s More Sad Hits signals an artistic pursuit. Out of the cinders of G500, the duo emerged dreamily optimistic and triumphant. Bonus material: None. []

—Fred Mills