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A Hawk And A Hacksaw: A Worldly Bounty

The world is shrinking, but the result transcends culture clashes and job losses. That's where A Hawk and a Hacksaw comes in: The duo may hail from New Mexico, but it only needs a few seconds to evoke images of horn-wielding Gypsies and foggy mountain villages in "Foni tu Argile." Throughout its new album, Delivrance, the duo's devilishly tight sounds seem to emerge straight out of the Balkans.

It might seem as if A Hawk and a Hacksaw is opting out of Western music altogether, but there are other Americans in its flock; Man Man, DeVotchKa and Beirut also have their ears pointed East. Still, A Hawk and a Hacksaw's devotion appears to run deeper than most. Its members — Heather Trost and former Neutral Milk Hotel drummer Jeremy Barnes — both demonstrate a passion for this music that translates into a bounty of viola, cimbalom and accordion.

Of course, Barnes and Trost couldn't pull off such a rich sound by themselves. They collaborate heavily with a rotating cast of European musicians who help bring out A Hawk and a Hacksaw's most compelling attribute: authenticity.

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Anthony Fantano