Another cradle of calm emerges from North Americans. The duo of Patrick McDermott and Barry Walker Jr have been carving out a delicate niche for themselves somwhere between folk, ambient country, and kosmiche over the past few years. The new record finds the pair working in wonderful symbiosis, crafting works that feel like they were siphoned from the atmospheres of humid evenings and cold spring mornings. There’s a comfort to the songs’ stillness, a sense of surroundings either just waking or just settling away from perceptible view. The pair let acoustic ramble and sunlit steel lap over one another, shimmering, aching, vibrating deep into the marrow of the listener.
Walker has cited Loren Connors as an inspiration for the record and his works may be the closest to dredging up the same feelings of rarified air that permeate Long Cool World save for maybe Bruce Langhorne’s Hired Hand Soundtrack. The latter always feels like a bit of a touchstone for North Americans. The record pulls at the memory, massaging joy and ease from the wells of the mind to match the pair’s phosphorus glow. Walker’s steel in particular dances on the air, tracing the trails of ennui as they slip from the soul. The last couple of records from North Americans have all been meditatively gorgeous essentials, but they seem to be setting the stage for the inviting ache of Long Cool World.
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