Saturday, June 17, 2017

HUSK “Husk” C45 (Curly Cassettes)




If any rock music comes across my path, I’m immediately skeptical. However, I’ll dismiss the anticipation of what I think of this “rock” tape immediately, because it doesn’t deserve to be drawn out: Husk is stupendous. It’s a branch of jangly, ramshackle indie, along the lines of your Fleet Foxes or your Wilcos, with a Hayden Desser or David Bazan on vocals, except with way more range. Opener “Wicked Mantras” gave me a distinct William Tyler vibe – I freaking love William Tyler. So I will gush, unabashedly about Husk, aka Oakland’s Wesley Powell and some friends. Does William have chops? Dang right, he does – there’s not a wasted minute on this tape. How’s the recording? Coated in reverb, just the way it’s supposed to be. No backwoods acoustic rambling here, no coffeehouse nonsense. It lends a surreal quality to the otherwise grounded songwriting, a nice counterpoint, almost as if everything that comes out of William’s mouth does so at night, and he’s exhausted, and everything is important and everything is bittersweet. Look no further (or as far as) album closer “Leaving” for an example of world-weariness, where a disgruntled, disillusioned Powell intones the mantra, “So long, so long…” World weary – everybody is right now, so Husk is the perfect antidote, or accompaniment, or both. Could “Half Moon” replace “Earth Angel” at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance? You bet your life. See? I’m already thinking positive, with positive references flooding my perspective. There’s even a fuzzy take on the classic “Bye Bye Love,” which, while explicitly familiar, carries with it the sense that it fits perfectly within the Husk oeuvre, almost as if Powell had written the dang thing himself. And “Quiet” even takes a page from brother Tyler Powell’s ambient work and works perfectly as a late-album interlude. But of course, all of this must be taken in bas-relief of the whole, as Husk emerges from its background components a fully formed and fully distinct recording. Why even bother with Fleet Foxes or Wilco or Bon Iver or whatever anymore? They’ll just disappoint you. Husk keeps it real – Husk will not disappoint you. Husk will be your pal for life.

Husk
Curly Cassettes

--Ryan Masteller

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