''Into the Dark Unknown'' is an apparition. It is the fourth critically acclaimed album by Holcombe Waller, reflecting six years of itinerant wanderings under the Pacific Northwest's skies, the slow silvering of feathers and beards, and an animalistic intuition of where to find fresh shoots poking up through the melting snow. Lay some lavender across the dashboard, slide a water-smoothed stone into a pocket and set off with your best traveler's sweater.
Holcombe Waller will be among the nominees for a MacArthur Fellowship pretty soon. What else can you say about someone who's obviously - and trust us, we wouldn't use this dreaded word unless we had to - a genius? --San Francisco Weekly
He's got the crazy-beautiful, four-octave voice of an androgynous seraph. Waller renders songs of romantic holocaust with a nakedness that can't be taught. --Kate Sullivan, SPIN Magazine
For melodic sweep, the prize goes to Holcombe Waller, whose self-released Extravagant Gesture
is a small pop epic. --Ann Powers