Music for 6/17/21!!! Dry Cleaning, Yasmin Williams, Will Stratton

@@@ Dry Cleaning: New Long Leg (4AD, 2021) I scrolled down to check the label this was issued on and saw it was 4AD, fucking 4AD home of artschool twats and pretentious rockers all around. This is rooted in ’80s rock, especially the guitar and the poshness of the female singer is really taking this straight to Dick Blick (an art supply store in northeast America). Very ’80s bass sound as well. It’s not that I think this is bad music, I just don’t find it very interesting to listen to and there’s a difference. People make this music and listen to every day but I’m not one of them.

@@@ Yasmin Williams: Urban Driftwood (Spinster, 2021) This is a bottom to top listening session today so I’m checking this out after hearing the third listen. It’s similar in that it opens with a lot of acoustic string playing though the hand drumming here produces a much different impression here. A kallimba is added and I think that may be it for this track, no vocals. I switched to the second tune to see if this is an instrumental folk record of if there are vocal performances. This is very pretty but not as engaging as I would like it to be for me personally. I like contrast so for me something juxtaposed with the sheer prettiness of it would make it a more compelling for me. Some gutbucket playing perhaps?

@@@ Will Stratton: Tokens (Bella Union, 2021) This is the opening track of the record and it opens with trick acoustic guitar with some electric guitar washes in support, an upright bass, and maybe that’s it. Oh, a little drum cymbal action, very minimal. Stratton enters vocally and this is really an exercise in Nick Drake feels. It’s not as stripped down as the classic Nick Drake record I always listen to and I’m not sure if it’s more packed package is a good thing or a bad thing. I always think of Nick Drake’s voice as being infused with desolation and loneliness and that drives the listener to a specific place and Stratton’s voice here is more of a comfort than a depressed person letting others into his/her mind. I understand it’s a bit unfair to hold this musician to Nick Drake who really dropped something vital and unique that looks set to stand the test of time, but on the other hand he’s really gone out of his way to take Drake’s formula and hew to it closely. Mixed bag really, like some of it, other parts not as much.

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