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Steve Gunn | The Unseen In Between

The veteran singer-guitarist releases his most accessible disc to date

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Unseen is about right. Not to mention unheard, unsung and unknown. Although he’s been releasing solo albums for more than a decade — and even spent a brief stint playing guitar in Kurt Vile’s band — respected New York singer-guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn is a long way from famous. But thankfully, there’s a slim chance that his umpteenth release The Unseen In Between will nudge that needle at least slightly. His most accessible disc to date, it’s roughly divided between idiosyncratic folk-rock and transcendent electric slow-burners vaguely reminiscent of Vile or The War on Drugs. That’s mainly due to his meandering vibe, heavily atmospheric arrangements and dreamy vocals, though his whole hippie-meets-hipster vibe sure doesn’t hurt either. Retro yet current, introspective yet extroverted, and ultimately serving as a showcase for his skilled, quietly intricate picking and unvarnished vocals, Gunn’s richly reverberating songs were impressive enough to convince veteran Dylan bassist Tony Garnier to hold down the bottom end on these nine cuts. But never mind the famous sideman: The Zen-like Gunn, his strong skill set and his unique talents remain the stars of the show. Even if nobody else ever sees it.