Friday, February 05, 2021

'Postcards From The Edge' pushes you into unexpected realms.

Photo by Lael Neale
I only listened to Guy Blakeslee's new album Postcards From The Edge for the first time a few days ago, and admit that as it started up I was ready to write it off as reverb-drenched, morose, singer-songwriter indie stuff. But there was something about his voice; strong yet vulnerable, cutting through like a laser slightly wobbling through waves of light. By the second tune I realized it was a sneak attack and Blakeslee's slow opener in meant to lull you, so you don't even notice you've entered a kind of dream state where things get progressively weirder.

Blakeslee recorded the album using the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's studio in New Orleans, and when I first read that I wrote it off as just a potential press hook. But the environment is important, and I can't help thinking the studio had an effect on pushing Blakeslee, pardon the pun, over the musical edge of expectations into a weird swirling canvas that mixes conventional structures with wild arrangements and studio trickery. It all somehow sounds totally organic, though they must have taken an incredible attention to detail in order to pull it off without it feeling like a lot of effort.

I believe this "dream state" I describe is intentional though, and like a caring partner after a particularly emotional day, he even tags on a musical coda at the end of the album's final track that slowly brings in sounds of the city—cars, planes, trains, softly falling rain—gently into the mix, creating the overwhelming impression you're slowly waking back up and entering the "real world."

Here is the point. I would usually say, "It's Bandcamp Friday, so you should buy this album from there right now!" but for some reason the pricing of even the digital album is unusually high, so maybe stream it below and then go price-hunting through the various outlets the album is available from if you don't want to use Bandcamp.

*To be fair, the higher price on Bandcamp also includes lots of goodies, so if you love the album, maybe you'll want one of those packages too. 

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