If I had to evaluate January releases with a general assessment, I'd say it was full of hype and not-so-full when it comes to output. I've attempted to put my ears to about every major and minor release this month and only a select few will remain on my turntable for the remainder of the year. I've spit a lot out this month, including some of the more heavily touted records that aren't providing much of a punch for me. One of the five or six albums getting plenty of wear and tear for me is John Vanderslice's White Wilderness, which just hit the shelves on Tuesday. Vanderslice is always up to something interesting and no matter what door he opens, it's typically the right choice musically. This time around, the addition of the orchestra alongside his songwriting is spectacular. The record is smooth as silk and is an excellent companion piece to all of his previous work. Romanian Names has been my Sunday morning record for nearly two years, and this one may knock it out of the rotation. Those folks who opt to purchase the MP3 version through Amazon get the treat of Vanderslice covering Atlas Sound's "Walkabout" along with the Magik*Magik Orchestra. Thanks to Stereogum for cluing me in on this. You can stream it below, but if you're only honing in on this one track, you're missing boat on the rest of the record. It's among the cream of the crop of this month's new releases.
I call this a weekly roundup, but that's not really what it is. I'm just getting back in the swing of things and hopefully, today starts the triumphant return of my weekly "Radio Dick" posts, which used to cap off the week that was, honing in on all sorts of musings and tracks I was digging throughout the preceding seven days. I'm not so certain that's an easy task to pick back up on, but I've had my ears to the stereo a bit more this week, and that feels pretty good. Today includes some new things and a few catch-up tracks I've been meaning to get to the web. One thing's a foregone conclusion, that the early part of 2011 is shaping up pretty well. Our pals over at Music Savesput on an "Indie Orthodox New Years" each year, which marks the beginning of the new release season. Things are piling up and we're excited for some old favorites who are releasing records, and some newbies dropping their debuts.
I'll begin with a track I've been meaning to post. John Vanderslice's Romanian Names is still my go-to Saturday morning coffee record, and the guy is sick when it comes to melting simple and beautiful arrangements into large-scale productions. His back-catalog is superb, but I've always been on board in the thinking that his work is only growing more expansive and gorgeous. I'm stoked for his newest effort, White Wilderness to hit the shelves at the end of the month. As with previous efforts and projects, Vanderslice works with the Magik Magik Orchestra. As per the usual, Vanderslice's arrangement is beautiful in "Sea Salt," a slightly off-kilter, jamming tune, which opens up wide with the orchestral addition. Check out the Dead Oceans website to pre-order this one. I'll join you.
Papercuts has another album on the horizon, and Sub Pop is gearing up for its 3/1 release. The first track leaked, "Do What You Will," picks up essentially where previous efforts leave off. The bouncy rhythm melts with the dreamy vocal arrangement into huge hooks that pepper the whole song. Jason Quever has a bead on blending all sorts of instrumentation into pretty simple, dreamy ditties. No doubt, this will be a huge release in a few months. Indie-pop mixed with a shot of psychedelia is never a bad thing.
Kurt Vile just makes damn good music that works. Don't expect Smoke Ring for My Halo to stray far away. "Jesus Fever" busted out of the gates a couple of days ago, and it's pretty much right on par. The guitar work is uniquely dissonant in certain parts, and even though the track is completely upbeat, the darker flourishes are what attract me the most. Matador will release the album on 3/8, but you can pre-order the record by clicking HERE.
I've gone on the record bashing the chillwave genre, which I suppose just about every blogger has been guilty of at one point or another. I'll always, however, admit when I'm beat. I tend to gravitate toward the movement when something stands out. This new Dirty Beaches track, while only partly chilled out, is crazy good. "Lord Knows Best" is the first track released from Badlands which will be released on March 29th. I guess there's no shortage of dark ambience in the indie world, but something's grabbing me with this song. I've had it on repeat all morning, fueling the weekend chores. It's filling up my townhouse to the brim with relaxed aggression.
The first of March is the big day for Californian act, Craft Spells. They are releasing their debut album, Idle Labor via the Captured Tracks label, the same corporation slinging Wild Nothing, and that also works with Beach Fossils and Blank Dogs. Justin Paul Vallesteros is another bedroom act, pumping out snarky tracks from his Beautyrest. The blogosphere gave a hefty spin to "Party Talk" a little bit ago, and "After the Moment" is the cat's ass. If you haven't heard of Craft Spells, expect a heavy dose of them this Spring. I've got it marked on the calendario.
I'm not sure where I got the mp3 of "Success Came Slowly," but London Act, Fez, woke me up a bit this morning with a pretty killer set of chops and rhythms. I think I got this handed to me via mp3 submission, but of course this is inconsequential. I'm actually surprised that more of my blog brethren haven't jumped on board here. Nothing's tricky here, but the track is catchy as can be. There's a pounding Band of Horses-ish riff sitting behind it all. Try not to like it. Dare ya.
Lower Dens crept up on the world like an angry dog last year, and with my haphazard attention span during the latter half, I missed the party quite a bit. I'm excited for some of the new content though. They have been streaming the newest tracks "Batman," and "Dear Betty Baby" for several days now. Stream those killer tunes below. Both of these will end up on a 7" pressing on January 18th.
"Dear Betty Baby"
That wraps up all I've got this morning. Seacrest, out…
John Vanderslice’s Romanian Names became my Sunday morning companion early after its release and it still sits on standby for the more contemplative and introspective times. We’ve become close friends, and its addition to our “Best Albums of 2009” list was locked in months ago. Released in May, Romanian Names is the perfect companion piece to 2004′s Cellar Door, and its 12 tracks wind through minimalist ouevres, grand sweeping narratives, and subtly ear-drenching arrangements. There is no filler on the album, and as the summer months scorched into the dog days, Vanderslice’s effort simply blossomed with each listen, warming my heart while equally perplexing me with lyrical ambiguity. Quite simply, Vanderslice created another stellar record in 2009, each moving part intricately drawn out and defined. Tales of forlorn lovers, metaphorical allusions to adultery, paradoxical word play and brutal sincerity are all omni-present throughout the album. In my review of the record on its release date, I posted commentary about how immediately mature Vanderslice’s art is, steering clear of extra pretense and glitz. This is a gorgeous analog record of complex beauty, and unfortunately found itself largely underrated.
Vanderslice is a jack-of-all trades, and all twelve songs point to his meticulous attention to detail. He records in analog and this is apparent from the jump, with wood blocks, xylophones, and tinny snare drum work leaping from speakers without overdriven production. There’s an overall “first-take” quality that’s refreshing throughout the album, but it’s important to point out that the record never sounds sloppy. Simply put, Vanderslice is an artist at the top of his game and the lack of filler makes this noteworthy. “Forest Knolls” is where the album peaks sonically, with brooding and jarring metaphorically driven lyrics of hunting. Cacophonous flourishes disorient and jolt as Vanderslice’s foreboding tone ripples throughout.
Regret and loss are running motifs in the album, but are juxtaposed with music that, at times, presents itself poppy and this off-kilter mood is a boon to the album. “Too Much Time” and “C&O Canal” present a speaker miffed at the isolating nature of loss, but pointed toward resolution. Sometimes resolution is achieved through edgy nonchalance and if the speaker throughout this album is resolved, it’s certainly coated with a heavy layer of indignation. Many tracks move similarly, and although there’s no distinct narrative, all tracks can be glued together thematically. I suppose that’s what’s so endearing about this effort. As a literature teacher, I always allude to the lack of respect excellent lyrical efforts receive in this industry. In a world where Vampire Weekend can babble inane lyrical content and stock record store shelves indefinitely, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and consider what’s truly valuable. What sets Romanian Names apart, is that it succeeds in both arenas. The poetic strength satiates from track one to twelve. Vanderslice also swings for the fences musically, but does so with subtle grace; there is certainly a swagger present in the arrangements, but it’s underscored by complete accessibility and sincerity.
Throughout 2009, this record has been my mainstay repeatedly. It soothes while it intrigues and softens while it leaves the door open for emotional release. I’m not certain anything else I’ve listened to holds such lofty maturity of sound and language. Pick this one up if it passed you by this year; join me for a cup of coffee and “Fetal Horses.”
“Too Much Time,” from John Vanderslice’s Romanian Names is one of my favorite tracks of the year, and I was pleased this week to see that he’s released a demo of the song to gear up for the single’s 7″ release. The stripped down model of the dreamy contemplative track is on the playlist we’re offering you today, and in about fifteen words I’m going to link up a vid of Vanderslice performing “Forest Knolls” with a full on orchestra just because every track on this album mystifies and stops me dead in my tracks. It’s an arresting album and if you’ve not given it a run through, you’ve got a gaping hole in your 2009 arsenal.
Although Vanderslice has flirted with commercial success, many of his antics have involved mocking the industry, rather than blending right into it. His music is sincere, lyrically powerful, and since he’s a dude who didn’t begin recording until much later in his life, the emphasis is squarely on the artistic side of things. I reviewed Romanian Names earlier this year and lauded the album for its metaphorical nature and shredding intelligence. Each track points to Vanderslice’s artistic vision and each arrangement screams of his attention to detail and perfectionism. This is art, to me. I buy into it because of its sincerity and completely underrated under-exposure. I’d imagine he wouldn’t want this any other way.
Fast forward to several things that irk me. To begin, I was watching (don’t ask me why) the ABC debut of the new show, “Mercy” and caught Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom belting out a track at the show’s tail end. I suppose I should go backwards and mention why I have always loved Heartless Bastards. When Stairs and Elevators came out, I loved the lack of pretense and raw, unrefined bluesy energy the trio smacked me with. How many copies of that record sold? If we’re lucky, maybe 20K? The band’s live show, likewise, was always t-shirt, jeans, and attitude. Here is my Les Paul, and here is my heart and soul performed just for you. At no point in these three years of albums did I ever expect Heartless Bastards to pair up their artwork with a bathtub love-making scene on network television. Juxtaposition can be used for artistic emphasis, but this doesn’t quite jive. The band has changed to fit a model, and in this process, loses so much of their artistic worth. It’s not necessarily about selling out as much as its about the obnoxious nature of what shelves they choose to showcase their art upon. The twelve seconds of oddball artistic pairing sealed Heartless Bastards’ fate as far as I’m concerned. They’ve lost control of their art, and I should have seen it coming when I saw Erika dressed in frilly French blouse when the band performed on Letterman months ago. Check out these two contrasting vids. One vid is from 2007, and it’s the stripped down and killer “Runnin’” off of Stairs and Elevators. The second is the Letterman performance of “Out at Sea.” If there isn’t a noticeable difference, shoot me dead right now.
This idea also applies to the indie-rock heavy soundtrack of the upcoming film, New Moon, from the teen-friendly Twilight series of novels. The last couple of Sundays have been devoted to Brian and I bickering back and forth about musical value of certain bands, etc. However, this week we’re in complete agreement that this soundtrack is bothersome and mildly revolting. As an English teacher, I could begin the rant discussing how terribly written these novels are in the first place. Every teenage girl that walks into my classroom carries one of these behemoth, wordy, and pseudo-Gothic novels in tow. I ask kids to discuss literature, they bring up Twilight. I ask them to read Hawthorne, they say they’d rather read Twilight. I explain to them that Gothic literature is best understood if some of the early novels are read first (i.e. Frankenstein, Dracula, Wuthering Heights), and they tell me to scram. To be short, even from a literary perspective, I have issues with the series altogether and its gluttonous mainstream bloodsucking (pun completely intended). Only one student has asked me about Wuthering Heights, which is alluded to quite often in the series. She’s a winner, and I should probably hand her Yellow House quickly before she attaches Grizzly Bear with god awful teenage garbage writing.
From a musical perspective, I have trouble with this all-star cast of indie musicians lining up to get their tracks on this sure-to-sell soundtrack. The tracks on the soundtrack are quite good and this makes it even more perplexing and frustrating. As Brian succinctly asked in our discussion this morning, “Is everything for sale?” Veckatimest is artistically brilliant, but there’s something inherently ugly about pairing their style with trashy teenage vampire novels. The mere thought that a child will now associate Grizzly Bear, not with their art, but with Edward Cullen, is agitating. Do I still think “Two Weeks” is one of the best tracks I’ve ever heard? Yes. Do I think Edward Droste and crew are in danger of misfiring and wrecking their artistic worth by selling their music to masses that don’t understand? Absolutely.
Ultimately, it’s not about a band’s song being featured on a soundtrack or a television show, in my opinion. It’s about WHERE the tracks pop up and WHERE the band chooses to showcase their art. I suppose it’s possible that Lykke Li, GB, Bon Iver, Thom Yorke, BRMC, and Sea Wolf all read the trilogy and find it intriguing. If any of the members of these bands happen to read this post, I’d love to hear why you think your artwork is aptly paired with this particular film and novel series. Let’s wrangle and discuss. Secondly, I’d like all bands to look up at track five of the soundtrack. Yes, your art is also paired with The Killers. I wish bands would consider that the music they produce, at least to many, is about its artistic merit. The choice of where this artwork goes is delicate and important. I’ve got a bee in my bonnet and I’d love to hear our readership agree or disagree here.
As far as our playlist goes today, it’s a biggie. It includes quite a few tracks we’ve been meaning to get onto the site, including the killer El Perro Del Mar track, “Change of Heart,” and Memory Tapes’ “Green Knight.” The big deal, of course, is the new Bleach reissue about to hit at Sub Pop, and the previously unreleased Nirvana track, “Scoff” that they’ve released to the blogosphere. The remastering is well done and the track sends me way back. We’re loving it over here. As mentioned, Vanderslice’s “Too Much Time” is here, along with quite a few other odds and ends we’ve spinning at Citizen Dick Headquarters all week. Happy Sunday to y’all, and stay tuned for some killer album reviews throughout this week. Fall is here, and we’re loving it.
(Editor’s Note: Nuns need to buy and use hammers just like the rest of us. I like to think that the sisters are heading back to the parish to break somebody’s kneecaps and are looking for just the right implement. (They do appear to be pretty engaged in the task of finding the best hammer.) If you’ve been involved in a gambling and/or protection ring run by nuns and/or friars, drop us a line in the comments.)
We’re kind of all over the map on Lazy Saturday, right? Sometimes I hit you with some tunes and some analysis of why I love them; sometimes I hammer out some reviews on stuff that’s been piling up; sometimes I don’t really do anything. Today, I’d like to take some time to complain about the state of the world of music. If that’s not cool, feel free to start your own blog (unless you’re one of the 74% of Americans that already have one).
This whole Danger Mouse thing is pissing me off for a number of reasons. I think that pretty much everybody involved is some sort of an asshole. (I’m going to proceed under the assumption that you’re hip to “this whole Danger Mouse thing.” If you’re not, read this from the New York Times. If you don’t want to read, here’s the wildly truncated version: dude made a record he can’t release for some vague legal reason, so he’s selling peeps a book of pictures and a blank CD for fifty bucks.) The things that piss me off break down into three distinct categories:
1. If you make art, it should be yours. Ian Mackaye got this one right. Dischord‘s introduction to this idea is as good of a description as any: “We do not work with contracts so our relationship with our bands is based on friendship and trust. New bands come into the fold when they have made a mark within our community and there is mutual agreement that we would be a good fit for each other.” This makes sense. Records labels ought to be in the business of disseminating art to the public, not making money. Art museums are (generally) non-profits, so are orchestras. Why is popular music any different? (I’m going with the more traditional definition of that term, not implying that something like, say, Gay Beast is “popular” per se.) Shouldn’t record labels exist to serve the public good and stay in the black? Then, presumably, you wouldn’t have stuffed suits influencing the ability of a piece of music to enter the hands of the consumer. In a vacuum, Danger Mouse ought to be the person making decisions about what bits of his art exist in a public sense.
2. Self-promotion, notably that which is nefarious or complex in nature, is stupid at best. I’m a little worried that Danger Mouse is just a really savvy dude. NPR is streaming the record in question; the New York Times wrote the aforementioned feature on it; the blogosphere is lighting on fire with downloads of this thing. It is entirely possible that this is all a stunt to generate attention and revenue. That would suck. You can buy the book and the blank CD for fifty bucks. They only printed 5000 of them. If there’s a second run of these things, I’m going to assume that this was just a douchey, masturbatory exercise in manipulation of the public. I’d love to be wrong on this one, but I think Danger Mouse just might be a Machiavellian manipulator of the internet.
3. Everybody should have equal access to art, independent of its value or their means. All of this points to how foolishly we interact with the arts. Books and paintings and music and plays and performance art and all the rest of the loosely defined “arts” should be wildly and radically publicly supported and funded. What if this book is a life-altering, paradigm-shattering piece of honest to god, high level, no bullshit art? I’m sure as hell not going to be spending fifty bucks on it. Does that mean that I don’t “deserve” the enlightenment it offers? That’s classist bullshit. If we sorted out a more rational way of doing this, artists could be compensated directly and everybody could have equal access to their products. Some other genius will need to figure out how that would actually work, but it would be sweet.
Here ends that rant. If you’re Danger Mouse and you’re reading, drop us a line; we’d love some clarity and/or evidence that this isn’t all a finely crafted marketing event. In the meantime, for the rest of you who aren’t Danger Mouse, we’ve got four killer tracks. The first two come from bands that we’ve hit recently (and that Kevin loves) and kind of just give me an excuse to post twenty plus minutes of deep hippie jams from moe. (Press play on “Buster” and then just zone out for a minute. Good times!) Lastly, I got my hard copy of The Eternal this week, so there’s also some classic live Sonic Youth. (This cut comes from that same compilation that the De La Soul song from earlier this week is found on. I’ve written about this version of “Wildflower” before. To paraphrase the kid at the surf shop in Point Break: “Sonic Youth’s the source man. Changed my life.”)
Do you remember those English teachers that made you turn in the gigantic term papers at the end of the school year in a big yellow envelope filled with notecards, outlines and rough drafts? I’m that English teacher. The mention of my name this time of year is likely to spark a multitude of emotions, particularly a healthy mix of dread and outrage. If I were to go spy on the facebook pages of my students, I’d no doubt find a slew of insults, swearing, and outright threats streaming down their update threads. Sometimes I laugh because I’m in complete agreement with their frustration. On one hand, I understand kids need to know how to communicate in an organized way, but on the flip side, I have no freaking clue why I assign so much work at the end of the year.
As I sit down to write this post, I’ve got a stack of essays about knee-high sitting over in the corner of my den barking at me to grade them. I just don’t wanna. Who really enjoys sitting down to read seven pages of mildly intelligent babble about a topic that’s been rehashed and redone by at least one student in every high school in America annually?
I’m beginning to think I should have my students write their term papers as music critiques. You heard me, what if I slid each student an indie rock album based on their own particular interests. For my Zep kids, I’d hand them a Black Mountain CD, and for my already-hipster students I’d have to dig deep and throw something super obscure at them. I’d have them research bands and connect mainstream success versus independent musical freedom, all while honing in the basics of proper research and documentation. Shit yeah, this assignment is going to be big. What student is going to bitch and moan about an assignment where they get to ultimately do what they love (analyze and listen to tunes)?
Aside from being the coolest teacher in the history of mankind, I think I’d also be the orchestrator of an assignment bearing weight and value. Pop Culture media has our balls in the proverbial clenched fist, and the automated youth culture is in need of critical thinking. It’s my firm belief that some kids think everything they need to know has already been figured out and is available on wikipedia. What would Johnny do if I handed him a Blue Horns CD and told him to research the band? No wikipedia page? Sorry, Johnny, you’re going to have to come stronger than that. I want to turn my classroom into indie rock critics next year. That sounds like a plan…
All of this to explain that I’ve been busy as hell. It’s been tough to sit and listen to albums all the way through this week, as Brian alluded to in yesterday’s Lazy Saturday post. Email is a wonderful thing, however, and we’ve been putting our ears to plenty of upcoming music. As I’ve been driving around, attempting to keep some form of structure in my life during these harried days, I’ve been creating all sorts of interesting playlists to cruise around and jam to whilst I drive. Some are all inclusive, covering music I’ve been listening to all year and can’t get out of my head. Others look a bit more into what’s on tap, as emails have been pouring in with some excellent tracks. If you can manage to find me out there on the road, pull up alongside and tune your radios to 90.7. Here’s a taste of some of the tracks you’re likely to hear this week.
As James mentioned yesterday, our rising age was put to the test this weekend during a road trip back to our alma mater. I remember wobbling back and forth trying to text James to get back to the bar and hail a cab because I was clearly done for the night. This was, embarrassingly, at 12:30 am. Mind you, we had been drinking since six, but I can’t remember one night in my twenties that I embarked on a night of boozing and called it quits so early. I’m fast approaching my 31st year and nights like this remind me of my vulnerability and that life’s clock isn’t going to go into perpetual rewind any time soon. To connect this thought, yesterday I was finally able to spin the new John Vanderslice album, Romanian Names for the first time, and although I had big expectations by default, I had no idea how hard it would hit me. Vanderslice is 41 years old, eleven years my senior, and this boggles my mind. Vanderslice pumped out his first record when he was my age, and while most musicians these days start in their late teens or early twenties, all of JV’swork exhibits a maturity that can only be found through a dude with some years under his belt. It’s intriguing to think a guy at age 30 can put out his first album and then build that idea into something as seminal as Cellar Door so early (but yet also late) in life. Vanderslice is a jack-of-all trades, producing, collaborating, and pumping out lyrical brilliance for peeps in the know, and if for some strange reason you’ve been on a distant planet and have not caught wind of this genius, hop on board because Romanian Names fits superbly in his already successful arsenal.
The first area worthy of discussion is the lyrical strength of Romanian Names. Vanderslice grabs the audience from the start, weaving through ambiguous content and an overriding aura of sadness and loss. A few particular tracks pound home JV’s lyrical ability, specifically “Fetal Horses,” “Time to Time,” and the broodingly evil, “Forest Knolls.” In “Fetal Horses,” a high pitched synthesizer is laced with simple piano arpeggios and Vanderslice’s neo folk crooning. There are some swift guitar effects and an amazingly rich and textured sound from the analog recording process. Lyrically, he’s stuck in a push-pull relationship as he angrily states At least today your pixelated bloody face, it seems to me to be finally dead with you and him. Come back to me again. You’d break everything I have. “Forest Knolls” (kickass live video below) emphatically points to how sharp Vanderslice is. Reminiscent of the spooky narration in Sufjan’s “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.,” the track places the extended metaphor of deer lurking outside a cabin window to express intense pain and regret over not aggressively dealing with intruders into a past relationship. We’ve got food for weeks and weeks. All that blood would find its way to the carpet. Sitting there I couldn’t shake that guilt. As the deer walked free up the hill. As with Sufjan’s Gacy track, spooky and dark imagery emits the idea that the fine line between sanity and losing marbles is not always abundantly clear. Dude got cheated on and he let the guy get away with it. He’s filled with regret and pain. Romanian Names is chock full of poetic worth and the mere fact that the music is so damn good only adds to the effectiveness.
The analog recording process that Vanderslice employs creates a wonderful atmosphere of sound. At no point on the album does it sound sloppy, however. ”C&O Canal” includes xylophones, wood blocks, and tinny snare drum percussion to create an oddly soothing sound. In many tracks on the record the percussion is soft and simple, and this allows Vanderslice’s dominant vocals and harmonies to rise to the forefront. In the acronym track “D.I.A.L.O.” a trippy reversed synthesizer riff almost sounds like it’s being sucked back into the synthesizer and dual harmony vocal delivery signifies Vanderslice’s panache for creating excellent arrangements that make something complex sound completely simple. Simplicity is shown in the title track, as an irish-folk vibe is on full display with a simple acoustic guitar and Vanderslice’s teetering mix of soft and loud vocal delivery. When you fell off the balance beam, you couldn’t win. But you jumped up again. At times, JV decides to keep things simple and focus on the emotional content of his lyrics. It’s nice to know that he doesn’t need bells and whistles to hit an emotional chord. This happens often throughout the entire record.
Vanderslice has often garnered plenty of acclaim for the narrative structure of his albums. Whether it’s the mysterious Microsoft lawsuit or the tightly drawn reference to classic British poets like Shelley and Robert Lowell, it’s a poor decision to only listen to his work for musical sound. The narrative nature of Romanian Names is loud and clear as Vanderslice is creating a painful and sad depiction of life’s regrets and of losing things once loved. Obviously, this isn’t always an area where blame can be placed, and Vanderslice seems keenly aware of this. in “Tremble and Tear.” the album’s opener, the largeness of the track is juxtaposed by the softly pined, I can see her in the snow, snow snow and delicately placed lyrics of loss. In the previously mentioned “C&O Canal” JV hits the audience with probably the most interestingly placed lyric, I track down your friend. And won her heart over slowly. Then I walked away. Hope it gets back to you someday and immediately goes into a poppy and happy “la la la” session that creates the exact sarcastic machismo that many of us have felt when trying to get over a lost love. The album is narrative, but more strongly thematic, and its intelligence and sharp construction make it a 2009 release that is well worth all of the hype.
So at 41 years old, Vanderslice is in his 11th year of recording solo efforts. I suppose that eleven years into a career would signify one’s prime. We’re in full agreement that Vanderslice hasn’t dropped a bit or lessened his intelligently composed musicianship. Whenever I get an album a little bit late and I find myself struggling to find elements of quality, I think about albums like this that immediately sprawl outward into my nervous system in just one listen. I have no doubt this is going to be a great listen for many years to come. If you’re not picking this one up today, you’re a lunatic. Enjoy “Fetal Horses” and pick it up at insound.
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