Old Saw


In some dusted corner of a half-torn barn, in the darkest reaches of an over-parched field, on the median where the forest meets the fields, there exists Old Saw. The band follows up the excellent, Country Tropics, with a record that dives even deeper into the well of rusted folk and ambient country that marked their debut. From the outset, the record scratches at some dark colonial magic, waking up the woodlands of New England with an invocation reverberating through ancient dirt. The band’s last album let in a bit of light, overcast as it may have been, but the run through Sewn The Name makes that album feel positively buoyant by comparison. This time around the band digs into the darkness of the day, reflecting back the disease of the land and its keepers with a haunted, hungry collection that’s chewing on the stems of cultural drought.

The setup remains similar to the last, banjo plucks winding through the mists, lap steel, fiddle and 12-string creeping from the crevices. There’s an metallic taste in the air that’s tinged with memories of Pelt, Charalambides, and more recent offerings from Daniel Bachman. Like the latter this feels like a reflection of the rot that’s seeped into the stitching more and more each day. The record begins to crack the door and peer out into the light a bit as it wears on, but even “Spinner’s Weave,” and “Bobcat Sarabande,” as devoid as they are of the pulsing darkness, are still fraught with a sense of looming dread. It’s another side to the band, an Americana that’s been broken, battered, and dragged across the grating, and it’s an excellent counterpoint to the sweeter winds of Country Tropics.

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