TRACK | Melaina Kol – Nu

5/5 golden merles

Melaina Kol creates Youngsville, North Carolina-based lo-fi bedroom rock. AMOSAT is layered in rich and compelling material, a delicately discordant ambiance constructed with much persistently viable misdirection stacked around the solid songwriting. “Nu” offers loads of angular pieces approaching of their own accord, an entire woven world of it to delve and get lost in, subtle hooks and abundant texture.

If I ever make anything good, I’ll have taken some lessons from this: its patience and sense of rerouting the narrative within the greater whole. There a lot of skill in guiding the persistent observer or judge in a kind of favorable figment or refracting everything in a favorable light; it’s nice to see such skill given to the refinement of experiment and innumerable unique transitions between tracks.

All of that is of value and is a kind of expertise that slowly accumulates an audience in the world, at least you hope so. It can be held by Naming your price at the bandcamp. Also check out the re-release of a set of 2017 tracks now out on tape/digital from 7th Heaven.

TRACK | The Mountain Goats – Aulon Raid

5/5 golden merles

A wonderful project, series of songs, and example of adapting material between mediums to appeal to a different audience. Life is brief and it’s a gift when two fine storytellers combine in collaboration. Also it’s the first set recorded straight to boombox since All Hail West Texas.

From the mouth of the horse:

“I WROTE A SONG EVERY DAY for the next ten days while reading A Chronicle of the Last Pagans, starting with “Aulon Raid” and working in exactly the style I used to work in: read until something jumps out at me; play guitar and ad-lib out loud until I get a phrase I like; write the lyrics, get the song together, record immediately.”

I was late to this one and maybe you missed it as well, but a nice reminder Darnielle and goats are on tour.

TRACK | Natural Causes – Like It Should

5/5 golden merles

“Like It Should” is contemplative but also contains a fair amount of the threatening. Not ‘fair’ in the sense of ‘significant’ or ‘considerable.’ But ‘fair’ in the moral sense, it contains the right amount of the ominous and the foreboding.

There is here an equitable offset of the well-reasoned to the kinetic. It has a the sense of the analytic in concert with the rapturous and the enraged, to the refined degree that you get from the Fugazis, the Protomartyrs, and the Oughts of the earth; the ilk who balance the conscientious along with a call to action.

The old man says “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” But why not some fairer balance? There can be a great and good register of the lashing and the misgiving in equal measure. And we can instead unite in that searching, more certain and assured after, with all the conviction that commiseration allows.