Rhett Miller – Self Titled. I’ve always liked Rhett Miller (including the Old 97’s) but can honestly say this is the best work he’s ever done. The album is a fantastic collection of Wilco-esque rockers and really achingly beautiful down-tempo folksy tunes that are campfire-ready and I want to put all of the songs in my pocket and run away. I was pretty excited about this release and it didn’t disappoint me at all. The best moments: “Haphazardly”; “Bonfire”; “Another Girlfriend”‘; “Nobody Says I Love You Anymore”.
Pete Yorn – Back and Fourth. I love a good pun and kind of died at the name of this release. But I wasn’t expecting anything less than Pete ‘Super Cute/Fantastic/Hot/Talented/Fantastic’ Yorn, mais oui? Back and Fourth is also really pretty and produced by none other than someone that I once met (and hugged), everyone’s favourite fantastic vaguely experimental producer, Mike MF Mogis. There are plenty of reasons to love this album, but it’s just incredibly likeable and memorable. What more do you need from an indie-tastic folksy album? The best moments: “Thinking Of You”; “Country”; “Don’t Wanna Cry”; “Social Development Dance”; “Close”.
Both of these releases are vaguely similar in a certain kind of way. They’re both softer offerings from both artists, and both have a tinge of alt-country mixed with a lot of folk. Also, I look at both Miller and Yorn as artists who don’t want to be STRAIGHT STRAIGHT STRAGHT folk and experiment with different techniques, producers and styles. So if you like one of these releases, consider purchasing the other because I think you will enjoy them both. I’d say as complete releases, both showcase some of Yorn and Miller’s greatest strengths as maturing singer/songwriters. Also in recent releases, try Paolo Nutini’s Sunny Side Up and Vetiver’s Tight Knit. It’s all delicious quirky, warm but KIND OF experimental stuff.