Saturday, June 1, 2013

Michael Wohl-Moonfeeder/Songs of Impermanence 7" (2013)

 As the Valdarno heats up, a nocturnal lifestyle is becoming more and more appealing: the daytime here is so hot it's like walking into an oven when I go out to buy a beer, so the day's become night and nighttime, like Fogerty said, is the right time.

Just in time for the Tuscan summer comes this bit of spartan folk from Seattle. As on Wohl's 2012 demo, this is barebones, standalone guitar music. In many ways, the demo was a tribute  to the blues and Americana influences that Wohl proudly wears on his sleeve. These two songs, however, find him starting to work out his own idiom within that tradition. His playing is thoroughly indebted to Fahey, still, but "Moonfeeder" is more measured than Fahey's spry, even effusive, plucking. The guitar is almost melancholic at times, without being heavy-handed. Wohl ends the tune with a flourish of upbeat plucking, though; an overnight train journey and not an all-night bender, perhaps, is the setting.
"Song of Impermanence" sounds like a tighter, more coherent reworking of the loose, improvised "Melatonin Blues," my favorite tune from the 2012 demo. The piece is a bit of lonesome midnight solitude crafted in a jaunty form. Around 4:21 the song soars off into ethereal heights, closing on a note of perfect, spacy elegance.

The musos among my readers will enjoy this two-song EP for the masterful guitarwork. The rest of us can get into it for the mood. Either way, give this a spin next time it's 5 am and you're too wired to sleep. Also, the cover is gorgeous and it's fun staring at it when you're stoned stupid.

Physical copies of the EP will be available in August, stay tuned. 

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