Five Foot Nine isn't just the sock-clad height of front man Michael (ex Trouser) Hushel. It's the deft stickwork of former Caviar (Island Records) drummer Jason Batchko. A touch of swaggering bassmanship from Tom (Cisco Pike/Joypoppers) Szidon. Multiple contributions from Mark Joyal and Stacy Cummings. And some serious singing from chanteuse Laura Coleman.

Awash with guy/girl vocals, handclaps, horns, sitar, cellos, and pedal steel (Ken Champion of Smog/Jim O'Rourke projects) the buoyant compositions read a little tiny bit like New Pornographers meet vintage Bowie, but more like no one you can really put your finger on.

The feature length debut was tracked and co-produced by former Webb Brother (Warner UK) and current Bon Mot member Neal Ostrovsky from April-December '06 at his B-Side Audio in Chicago's Ukrainian Village. The band owes many thanks to Neal for his great ear and even greater facility with a well-timed raised eyebrow.

Ultimately, Five Foot Nine is all about the songs. Songs, which after two long years, are extremely happy to be out of Michael's head and out here with the rest of us.