I can't ever remember getting sent anything from Cheyenne, Wyoming before so it was a pleasant surprise when this CD arrived and it turns out to be by a guy from Oxford, Mississippi.
It comes with a cover that I assume is from a room at the same Motel 43 which titles the LP. The opening Summer Sun kind of reminds me of No Easy Way Down by The Rain Parade if they had gone a bit country and a bit electronica at the same time. It certainly draws you in to a world highly alien the one I inhabit in London.
Hangin' Around has more of a chunky, slightly fuzzed guitar riff over which Knowlton sings about Hangin' Around like he's suffering from the sort of ennui that can only come from being in the middle of nowhere with nothing much to do. Then just as you might be giving up hope, the weird noises come in and take us off someplace else. It's like an early Pram record and it's a fleeting glimpse before he keeps on Hangin' Around hoping he doesn't get accused of sounding like the Dandy Warhols.
I Can't Tell/Run is a nicely strummed laid-back, countrified indie tune with some good echo-y vocals and it's more of a jog than a run. I was sort of waiting for it to break out when in fact it breaks down for the end coda when it goes all ambient mood music at the quietest end of Anathema's catalogue. It's a rather eerie end to the song.
Done Moving on has a nice twangy feel to it and is in similar territory to Sturgill Simpson but with a subtle undertow of slide guitar and some odd noises that sort of grow as the track continues in rather an effective way. Greyhound is a song about the bus rather than the canine or reggae kind and is a gentle ride through the countryside.
The title track is next and has a late night feel to it as the song's protagonist asks his partner to go out on the town over some simple but effective percussion and some long sustained notes on...is it a guitar or a moog or something else? Either way a cool whooshing sound takes over as if you've ended up in a very very laid back chill out room.
Gallup, New Mexico is a real one horse town of a song that opens with some carefully placed and strummed guitars that almost sound like harps and sort of drift off before the song bleeds into The River (For Nels). This one is a bit more conventional and, no, I don't know if it's for Nels Cline or some other Nels. It does, however, seem to be a love letter to the Motel 43 and is gently engaging on its own terms.
The album closes with the gentle laid back feel of Glow; almost like you are looking up at the sky and the stars are glowing above you as he sings about an ocean all around you so it could be you're on a raft floating somewhere nice.
This is a cool album of countrified indie with an undertow of electronica and it's very easy to listen to indeed.
Find out more at: Knowlton Bourne at Misra Records