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Hearing a Lively Dream: Hickey's Last Town Chorus

Megan Hickey of The Last Town Chorus.
Megan Hickey of The Last Town Chorus.

The Last Town Chorus is the musical brainchild of Megan Hickey, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based singer/songwriter who plays and writes songs almost exclusively on lap steel guitar. The group makes music for in-between hours, when the sky is a transitional color, when the world around you is eerily quiet, when you can't sleep but you can't wake up.

On Wire Waltz, the second album under the Last Town Chorus moniker, Hickey creates a hypnotic soundscape with her lap steel, leaning heavily on the small hand-held metal bar as she applies it to the strings, and working with effects pedals that bend and shape the notes as they travel from her instrument to her amplifier.

Hickey lays bare her innermost feelings on the CD. Even her teenage misfit anthem is bittersweet, a snapshot of Hickey as a high school outcast, a self-styled punk rocker who came of age in the '80s listening to the Smiths and David Bowie, scribbling in a journal and suffering from her first crush.

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Meredith Ochs