Sounds Like Fall is the moniker under which Iowan Joe Young has recorded this, his debut album. Apart from a drummer and pedal steel man he does pretty much everything else, and the result is a hypnotic set of songs that inveigle themselves into your brain and soul with the subtleness of snakes and the addictiveness of amphetamines. His music is restrained almost past the point of no return, but with echoes of steel. “Pretty Little House”’s take on death cuts to the quick, while “Dust Pile” sweeps out of the speakers, stately as a combine progressing across the endless prairie. Grace notes from fuzzy muffled guitar and delicate pedal steel are scattered across the soundscapes as sparsely as bison on said prairie, and counterpoint it in much the same way, emphasising it’s vastness while drawing you back to a human scale. “St.Majella” is perhaps the best thing here, an anguished break-up song, and as Young sings “I’m in love with a girl like you” statues weep. If I have a criticism it’s that occasionally it’s a little too wilfully lo-fi, with the inclusion of the odd studio comment and noise off, and some of the recording has been left a bit under-produced, even allowing for the au natural style of the album as a whole. Comparisons? Iron & Wine I suppose, but Young is better. Ashtray Hearts definitely, but a little more upbeat. The sparseness of Townes, yes, but Young is more lyrical, less stripped down. He is ploughing a popular furrow, but he does it better than almost anyone else and brings something new to boot. (8/10)
Edited by [deleted user] on 3 Aug 2006, 21:25
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