Music Reviews

Starflyer 59

Leave Here a Stranger

Tooth & Nail

Dunno how he does it, but Starflyer 59’s Jason Martin continues to milk his idiosyncrasies for all their considerable worth on this, his sixth studio album, perpetually delivering the most sublimely charming and poignant pop of the present day. Further stripping the Starflyer sound down to its barest essentials • namely, his heavily reverbed guitar and wispier-than-thou vocals and maybe some semblance of rhythm • Leave Here a Stranger finds Martin continuing along the vaguely orchestral path begun on The Fashion Focus and followed through on the Fell in Love At 22 EP and Everybody Makes Mistakes LP, perhaps with less emphasis on the downered n’ sweeping simplicity of its predecessors this time ‘round and more (but equally downered, natch) on those pristinely pure, warm tones only he can coax from his fretboard(s) • similar in scope, yet even more low-key, and all the better for it. Trainspotters who’ve kept a cursory eye on Starflyer so far will know by now that the shoegazing squall/swirl of old is long gone, but seriously • how long could Martin’ve continued pitching The Pumpkins, Slowdive, and The Jesus and Mary Chain into a (my) bloody (valentine) blender? But like all of his work the past few years, there’s a deliciously dynamic undercurrent to Leave Here a Stranger, one that renders its contents equally suited for both blissful and bleak times alike: Good times, bad times, you know Martin’s had his share. So, with the above in mind, what’s next for the man • an acoustic album? We should only be so lucky•

Tooth & Nail, PO Box 12698, Seattle, WA 98111, http://www.toothandnail.com


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