The Books combine minimal, folky acoustic instrumentals with samples drawn from a vast library of found sounds and conversational snippets. And they do it very well. There's a calculated artlessness to the way the Books use samples, not processing them and not making any attempts to hide where they begin or end. It's not unlike the way Mark De Gli Antoni worked in Soul Coughing, and while the two bands couldn't be more different in other ways, there's a similar virtuosity at work in placing samples for maximum impact, each one triggering a palpable emotional response. "It Never Changes to Stop," from their upcoming LP "Lost and Safe," is somehow both effortlessly, glidingly smooth and unregulated and at the same time perfectly precise like clockwork -- clockwork in 9/8 time. Some of the nicest, most unusual music I've heard this year.