Bill Orcutt


Remembering back to the early works of Orcutt that found their way onto the site, there’s an immediate schism between those records and Bill’s latest, Jump On It, his first solo acoustic record in some time. The guitars on How The Thing Sings or A History of Every One have a brittleness to them, an acidity that can never let the pieces sit still or find comfort. The years have found this quality crop up in Orcutt’s work often, but there have also been bouts of ecstasy played against Corsano, creeping dread with Morley, and the lock-groove suites of Music For Four Guitars. The latter seems to make a bit of an impression on Jump On It, with the new album picking up on its pattern of vignettes. The pieces here soften Four Guitars’ machinations into echoes over the horizon. The circular reverberations drift off into an inky darkness.

Still, this album doesn’t quite feel like a companion piece to his last. In fact, there’s almost a heavier footprint from 2019’s Odd’s Against Tomorrow, with works like “The Sun and It’s Horizon,” “The Conversion Experience,” and “Judith Reconsidered,” finding more kinship with the pieces than any others that have ground out of Orcutt’s oeuvre in the past few years. Immediacy has always played a part in Bill’s works, but less so intimacy. While the familiar spark of entropy remains in the works here, there’s also a sense of Orcutt drawing the listener close and letting down a barrier that’s long been lifted. The recordings are bare and open, littered with the sounds of fingers on frets and the cadence of breath. There’s nothing hidden away. What sounds swirled the room are caught in the curls of tape. There may be some comfort here after all. The pulse of the platter still beats with an irregular itch, but the exterior radiates a newfound colloquy with calm.

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