Drunken Barn Dance

Drunken Barn Dance

Drunken Barn Dance

Drunken Barn Dance

Pedal Bark/Quite Scientific

Lo-fi pop being an increasingly barren playing field with the advent of Garage Band and Protools, it’s almost an event when a musical act opts to put note to tape the old-fashioned way. Scott Sellwood, the songwriter behind Drunken Barn Dance, is a firm believer in this organic and freewheeling recording style. Hell, when banging out arrangements for his compositions he keeps the whiskey flowing for the short-lived pre-recording sessions. The resulting collection of songs is gorgeously roughshod with wildly varying levels of sonic quality and stellar jamming.

Sellwood’s decade-long stint as keyboardist for the indie pop band Saturday Looks Good to Me has given him ample time to hone his skill at melody and that’s what really shines through on this disc. With an acoustic hook that consists of four barely shifting chord changes he makes “Fireworks (Never Tell)” practically anthemic — of course, his John Darnielle-soaring vocals aide in solidifying this greatness. The same stripped-down simplicity threads through the excellent “Ain’t No Weather Fouler” and “Seagulls (No Fantasies) (Fading Bones)” while the country/folk/pop breathless heaven of “Leaving Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin…” rocks a dusty bass and drumbeat and a harmonica solo that feels like a circuit bending experiment.

As many musical doors as there are opened by advancement in technology, there’s something to be said for songs that can shine brightly even in their rawest form. This album is the best example of this beauty to come down the pipe in a long time.

Quite Scientific: www.quitescientific.com

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