In the depths of a Montana winter, Jasmine Dreame Wagner set out to record the ten tracks of Searchlight Needles with contributions from electronics duo Cole Moeller and Michael Wanzenried. Wagner herself lends her vocals to her acoustic, electric and baritone guitars, recorders, xylophone, and keyboards as scraps of distorted violin and cello itch between sounds. The result is a journey from the ice-packed slopes and fire-smoked summers of western Montana to the deserts of Nevada, the rolling badlands of the Dakotas and the black swamps of North Carolina. Each limited-edition CD is hand-stamped and assembled. The music is available to download here.
"Cabinet of Natural Curiosities is a result of the indie-music world's ongoing experiment with folk: the music is cut apart, sending its pieces back to imagined woods, shires, and netherworlds, patiently drifting back in new configurations... Cabinet leader Jasmine Dreame Wagner has a feel for her influences' primal sweetness and creepiness. Between her vocal melodies and some spare guitar-plucking are cracks that fill up with the sounds of glassy chimes, tweeting birds, children's voices, and other idyllic forms of ambient noise."
—The Onion A.V. Club
"There’s something to be said for sounds and the people who love them. All musical artists worth a salt love music, they love songs, of course, duh. But I have a particular fascination for singers, songwriters, bands, orchestral three pieces, xylophone collectives, what have you, that are clearly fascinated with sound itself, as a medium. And when someone loves sound and songs? Oh boy. A songwriter who loves sounds is a potentially powerful musical force—a person who’s love for the communication extends to the mode of communication. The greatest artists are always like this: the best painters have a love for the color and texture beyond the paintings; the best writers, a love for words beyond the story."
—Rick Andrews, The Ampeater Review (ampeatermusic.com
"This is probably one of the most focused albums of the year, and I just might mention this in December. It's totally worth listening to and I bet it'll hypnotize you and make you sell every single Iron & Wine LP that you own."
—Olive Music (olive-music.blogspot.com
"A dreamy affair that sounds like sitting in a dense pine forest in the middle of the night with the light of the moon reflecting on the snow, the howling of wolves in the distance, and the cold night air chilling to the bone. In addition, Cabinet Of Natural Curiosities’ albums are self-recorded and (in true DIY fashion) completely handmade. Pretty cool indeed."
—Can You See the Sunset (From the Southside)? (www.canyouseethesunset.com
"The record is a long-playing lullaby that detours into night tremor noise interludes. It recently inspired an exceptional afternoon nap, not because it’s boring, but because it’s soothing and sparse, with those more chaotic tremors less like dream catchers, more like nightmare bear traps."
—Blake Gillespie, Impose Magazine (www.imposemagazine.com