Cleveland-based indie art-rock duo Mr. Gnome (singer/guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer/pianist Sam Meister) have been churning out albums for the better part of a decade and hit a career high point with 2011’s “Madness in Miniature.”
It’s taken a little while for Mr. Gnome to follow up on that terrific slab, but Barille and Meister are back at last with “The Heart of a Dark Star.” It’s not quite on par with its predecessor, but still ranks among the duo’s more enjoyable efforts. It’s the first time they’ve self-recorded an entire album and that approach allowed Mr. Gnome to work without the pressures of the studio or distractions from outside influences.
“The Heart of a Dark Star” gets off to a great start with “Melted rainbow” and “Dark Star,” and Mr. Gnome later deliver the goods on keepers “Folk Lonely,” “Star Stealers,” “Hangunder,” “No Place Like Home” and “The Sea.” This one merits your attention. (Jeffrey Sisk)