MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

The Last Town Chorus is the musical brainchild of Megan Hickey. She's a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter who plays and writes songs almost exclusively on lap steel guitar. The Last Town Chorus has new album out called "Wire Waltz." Meredith Ochs has this review.

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MEREDITH OCHS: The Last Town Chorus makes music for in-between hours, when the sky is a transitional color, when the world around you is eerily quite, when you can't sleep but you can't wake up. Megan 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.

And just when Hickey has drawn you into an altered state, you realize you're listening to something familiar, a David Bowie song.

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MEGAN HICKEY: (Singing) It's not really worth it. It's just the power to (unintelligible). Still lying in the rain but I never wave bye-bye. I try. I'm never going to fall for (unintelligible).

OCHS: The distinct cry of a lap steel guitar evokes powerful emotions, and it gives The Last Town Chorus the ability to take heartache to another level on this CD. Apparently, Megan Hickey's plaintive singing, the lap steel adds exquisite pain to breakup songs like this one.

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HICKEY: (Singing) Sorry and today (unintelligible) in the neighborhood we used to stroll all over. You tell me you're fine, I tell you I'm well. He said (unintelligible) cause it's not over till I say it's over, over, not over. It's not over. It's not (unintelligible).

OCHS: Megan 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.

It's also a blueprint for the rest of the album. Maybe you were one of those kids for whom books and music aren't entertainment; they're a lifeline. Or maybe you simply observed them from afar, always wondering what was going on in their heads. The Last Town Chorus gives you a glimpse into what happens when those outcasts grow up.

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BLOCK: The new album from The Last Town Chorus is called "Wire Waltz." Our reviewer is Meredith Ochs.

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HICKEY: (Singing) (Unintelligible) bright blue eyes. There's something about strawberry wine.

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