Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
Steve Gunn begins the fantastic first track of this 4-song session singing, "Wind so bad, the birds won't move. They're hanging in the air," and the way the pace picks up as his words enter, the way the bass notes feel like they're both dropping us and catching us on a swell of that light turbulence, is just the start of the New Yorker's sensory bending manipulation. He puts us on the feathered backs of those birds, poking our heads into those stiff drafts of wind. He puts us into that precarious position of feeling like a bystander, but still recognizing that we're here, in the moment, in whatever way that actually means anything, or something. He's a bit of a wizard as he kneads and elongates time into some sort of a trap door disconnect. You can be walking through one of his songs -- filled with open roadside ditches and country miles, the windows open with sunshine and the whipping breeze burning across your face -- up to you waist in thick weeds, and you feel like he's gotten you swirling with vapors, with emotions that feel as if they're quite old, maybe not yours. They flick and stick against your face the way that stray strands of spiderwebs get you when you least suspect them to. Gunn pulverizes the concept of time and its winding or unwinding, leaving us with these magnificent meditations on nature and the city and our fucked up place amongst it all. They are thoughtful and open-ended dialogues that travel far out and wide, but remain lodged in a homey place that a person can always get back to, even when drunk as hell and seeing blurs.
Steve Gunn Official Site
Paradise of Bachelors Records