Review Summary: Bite-size Burgundy
There’s something about Hard Times
’ particular strain of bedroom-adjacent folkin’ that hits
alike cookie dough injected direct into happiness circuitry of brain vestibules. The fractal, referential, nostalgia-ablaze v i b e
is the culprit: pop culture Polaroids in bulk atop tidal ebb/flow of 2-to-4 chord soft/shimmer, achieved via many aloof strumming and much large humming. Its major-key sadness embodies the homely, the becoming of walking-talking memory collage, of remembering (real) life in (real) time, synth boops punctuating the non-song nibbles telling a not-story that is. Imagine trying to describe a dream of a memory of the child that used to be you: that’s what these 2-minute snippets try-fail-try-fail-try-fuk to do, each leafing through old toys, trinkets and trophies and presenting the dustiest around the campfire with lost friends.
Terrible elevator pitch? uh, gosh, you’re right, uh, rethink: imagine if Phil Elverum and Sufjan Stevens and idk Andrew Bird made babies whilst listening to early Carissa’s Wierd. Pretty cool, right?
That John Donne (yes the
john donne circa 1854) is the best kept secret in modern folk should be the thing you take away from today’s inarticulate lesson, yet that tip off is incomplete. Enigmatic 28-min cuddle that it is, Hard Times
hath no candles that can withstand 2021’s A Mutable Feast or: the Ghost of a Flea
. That big-boi, whilst significantly less accessible and magnificently less marketable, is an even better thing(!) - a more ethereal, cryptic and secret-soul-sauce containing listen due to the better preserved goof of its less immaculate constructs. Feels like a harsh-mean-not-good thing to say to an artist who has clearly honed///refined///improved their craft, but perhaps the blemishes weren't blemishes at all. There is art in imperfection.