rootless has been a familiar name around these parts, but rarely has he been in such form as he is on Other Reasons. The new record is still rooted in the acoustic guitar works that have been a keystone of Jeremy Hurewitz’s palette, but here he’s joined by a handful of friends and collaborators that have turned the work into one of his more ambitious outings, framing his psychedelic folk in sadness and sorrow. What’s most prominent in the shift on Other Reasons is the presence of Jeremy’s voice. Often something that might show up in the background, its usually his stringwork that takes the center, but here vocals drift over many of the works with a fogged aura. The record has a displaced kinship with the psych-folk of the early aughts. Wrenched out of time and place this feels like a record that might have easily shown up on Time-Lag, De Stijl, or Foxglove — a folk record that’s consumed by ambience and unease.
A lot of what gives the record this feeling are his collaborators. Swirling around Hurewitz’s guitar Matt Lajoie adds heavily layered loops that glow with an eerie light. Zachary Paul’s violin in particular gives the album its heavy heart, winding through tracks with solemn resolve. Lajoie and partner Ash Brooks both lend vocals to the album, entwining with Jeremy’s own to create works that seethe with a humid sweat. Though, it’s not until the name Brendon Anderegg shows up in the credits that I realize there is also quite a debt to Mountains here. Their particular pairing of gauze and folk comes to mind in the early moments of the album, as tones tower and voices call from the murky depths. While the record reaches back to a time when the 3” CD was a viable format, it’s not in a way that feels dated, just reverential. It’s an album that would be welcome in a hand-sewn CD jacket, but laid to tape in 2023, the anxious haze hits just the same.
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