To Run More Smoothly
A first listen will fail to reveal the subtle complexities behind Sue Garner’s music. The album’s release on Thrill Jockey, a label known and respected for its selectiveness, does much to warrant repeat listens, which is fortunate, as To Run More Smoothly takes a while to sink in a take root. Garner’s style is gentle and straightforward, and her compositions feel completely familiar, as if you’ve heard them all before — I could swear I’ve heard songs like “Rose Colored Glue” and “Continuous Play” on a crackly midnight AM. Merle Haggard’s “Silver Wings” is given an interesting treatment, with ponderous bass, distant fuzz guitar, and a set of yearning violins vying for domination and ending up in fantastic collaboration. “Item’s Song” seems to be a few seconds of purring cat.
On this album, Garner collaborates with Chris Stamey (dB’s) and Georgia Hubley (Yo La Tengo) and though there would appear to be some distance between this effort and those bands, there’s a uniting thread of careful and self-contained songwriting that would appeal to fans. In summary, this is a great record that choses to release its charms in a slow (and completely enjoyable) fashion. Thrill Jockey Records, Box 476794, Chicago, IL 60647