Still Life: Vinyl LPVJLP269
Release Date: 25th February
Odd, innit, that sometimes an artist talking about being on the brink, when their life is unpredictable and tense, that they can often produce their most uplifting work? Here's Carson McHone with some country rock and American air-punchers, with some joyful tangy Byrdsian guitars, with organs driving and horns sounding, while the lyrics are melancholic yet with a glimmer of hope and romance.
For those who dig: The Boss, Daniel Romano who produced, Richard and Linda Thompson, John Cale and The Kinks...
Still Life, Carson McHone’s third album and second release with Loose Music, quivers like a tightrope, with songs about existing within such tension and surviving beyond the breaking point. These are stories of sabotage, confusion, and surrender. The album is a testament to the effort of reaching, sometimes flailing, for understanding and for balance. Still Life invites us to gasp at our own reflection and acknowledge the unsettling beauty in this breath. The songs of Still Life were written in quiet moments between tours and recorded away from Texas in Ontario with Canadian musician and producer Daniel Romano. McHone says of the session, “Daniel is a perceptive player, and his response was intuitive and organic. We attacked these songs as a blank canvas. Shadows sharpened and came to life as full vignettes that felt familiar in a magical way, a product of keeping things emotionally open. I think we picked up on things that were unwritten.” Together in a home studio they cut almost the entire record themselves, calling on two friends, the versatile Mark Lalama on accordion, piano, and organ, and David Nardi with some savvy saxophone, to round it out. The phrasing and tones recall John Cale, The Kinks, Richard and Linda Thompson—like-minded artists of the late ’60s and early ’70s, another era of transition and innovation.