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Album review: 'Intelligence Is Rising' 

Chaz Hearne & The Dazzlers

'Intelligence Is Rising'

Self-released

chazhearne.bandcamp.com

Rochester singer-songwriter Chaz Hearne's paper-thin, pitch-perfect tenor casts a dreamy haze over the music. At times it's akin to Paul Simon, and at others, it's more like Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear. With the homey, backwoods feel of the banjo and acoustic guitar, Hearne's music is rooted in a love for classic folk and Americana. Yet the sounds on "Intelligence Is Rising" are more directly descended from the atmospheric chamber pop, psychedelic, reverb-drenched indie rock, and neo-folk revival of the last 20 years.

It's a busy stylistic mélange, but Hearne's songwriting is precise and his ear for dynamic pop orchestration is keenly articulated by The Dazzlers -- a backing band that includes members of Susanna Rose Trio, Copper Hill, Seth Faergolzia's Multibird, and The Incantations. Dave Drago's mixing and mastering at 1809 Studios ties it all together.

Chaz Hearne & The Dazzlers will play an album release show with The Crooked North on Wednesday, July 24, 7:30 p.m. at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way. $7 includes new album. 232-3230. abilenebarandlounge.com; chazhearne.com.

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