Cass McCombs is an absentee landlord, Bob Hillman hits the road, Archive dig deep and more in today’s Roundup. Hold on to the safety rail and whatever you do, keep your arms inside the car.
1 Nobody can accuse Cass McCombs of being lazy. The singer-songwriter has unveiled the deep dark single and artistically deconstructed video for Absentee, the fourth preview of his hotly anticipated (at least by me) Feb. 8 album Tip of the Sphere. And in his usual ambitious fashion, it’s far more than just generic lovelorn ditty. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: In Absentee, McCombs ruminates on ancestral memories of British, colonialist absentee landlords during the Irish Potato Famine, on longing, hunger and untended places in the heart. Cass plays multiple characters in a play created with cast shadows, masks, puppets and analog visual effects created by Lydia Greer and Caryl Kientz of Facing West Shadow Theatre.” No puppet! No puppet! You’re the puppet!
2 Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson taught us back in the day. More than half a century later, that’s still true — as singer-songwriter Bob Hillman reminds us in his thoughtful and wistful number Some Of Us Are Free, Some Of Us Are Lost, the title track from his upcoming fifth album. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I was thinking about the books we read as young adults – On the Road, Tropic of Cancer, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Basketball Diaries, etc. – and considering how seriously we take them. I have friends who moved to Paris because of Henry Miller. Maybe they can be called free, since they followed their passions, but the road can also lead to darker places.“ Turn the page:
3 Archive are digging into their, um, archives. The South London collective are readying a career-spanning 25th-anniversary retrospective collection, fittingly dubbed 25 and due in May. And to get you ready, they’re sharing the trippy, sinister shoegazer-groover Remains Of Nothing (feat. Band of Skulls) and its accompanying ghostly video. Give this one a minute; it starts slow, but it’s definitely a creeper. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Archive founding member Darius Keeler says, “It felt like the right moment to take a breath, take stock of how far we’ve come on this journey of ours. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done as a collective over the years, and I’m excited to be celebrating that work in 2019. It’s also been a great opportunity to collaborate with some new people, I think the track with Band Of Skulls is one of the best things we’ve ever done.” That’s something.
4 When you name your band Slow Coming Day, nobody really expects you to be a speed demon. It doesn’t help when you basically go on indefinite hiatus and move to different cities. But after 10 years, these spiritual emo-rockers are finally back with a new album — the aptly titled 1,000 Years (Like A Day) — and the equally aptly titled first single First Sight. It’s about time. In more ways than one. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Orion Walsh (vocals/guitar) says: “This album was made myself recording & by sending the songs back & forth to each other through email like the Postal Service did. Each member of Slow Coming Day lives in another state. I’m in Lincoln, Nebraska, Matt Bailey, drummer, lives in Portland, Oregon, Dave Stoots, bass, is in Indianapolis, Indiana, & Kevin Michael, guitar & Brandon Queen, formerly drums & bass, both live in L.A.” Tick-tock, guys:
5 We all encounter obstacles in our lives. Some people get hung up on them. Some people find ways around them. And some, like Toronto indie outfit Rvnners, write personally inspired, electro-tinged pop-rock singles about them. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “RVNNERS are in recovery. The first single from our forthcoming new EP (produced by Crispin Day) is Through The Wall, a look at the hidden struggles of addiction, failure, and redemption. Through The Wall was written after years of getting sober, medication, and work. I had this image of a ghost pacing back and forth behind a wall that no one could see, trying to get out.” Break on through: