Last year Jeremy Hurewitz released one of the most endearing guitar records of the year. His collaboration with Mexican musician and folklorist Luís Pérez Ixoneztli found him utilizing a large swath of indigenous instrumentation to create an album of transcendental folk. He’s follows up on the gem with a cassette that finds him more intimate than he’s sounded in a while. Hurewitz’ playing is always steeped in seclusion, but here the pastoral beauty of Places Remember Us draws the listener in close against the cold winds. It’s woolens soaked in campfire smoke, an album built on a commune with nature and solace. The combination of natural elements and guitar seems a particular favorite for 2020 albums released in ’21, and it seems that everyone’s time in isolation seeped through the skin to imbue the marrow with a bit of reverence for the meditative moments.

Intentionally stripped back, the album was recorded in a remote cabin in Vermont, and its simplicity acts as a focal point. Unadulterated guitar lines melt into field recordings of owls and rivers from the surrounding woods. Blending patient lines that dance like seeds in the wind with pieces that dip into raga territory, Jeremy has created an album that breathes a hushed delicacy into this year. His tenure with Ixoneztli may have added some lasting shades, he borrows from their collaboration’s use of woodwinds to deepen the shadows here. Instead of Mesoamerican flutes, he’s utilizing John Also Bennett’s (Forma, Seabat) more modern take, but the depth comes regardless of the age of the instrument. As time has worn on Hurewitz has shaved his sound down to its most bare elements — from early collaborative albums under the name, to this most austere statement. Yet, no matter what the setup, rootless proves the cure for pain.

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