Saturday, December 28, 2019

Best of 2019 • Siskiyou • Not Somewhere



Siskiyou returns from a four-year hiatus with Not Somewhere, an album that finds band leader Colin Huebert (ex-Great Lake Swimmers) essentially in solo artist mode, writing and self-recording this new collection of tunes on his own, playing all the guitar, bass, keyboard and drum parts himself. Not Somewhere harkens back to Siskiyou’s magical and understated 2010 self-titled debut in this and other ways: the album’s production rekindles a homespun intimacy, where plain-spoken lyrics grapple with portraits of quiet quotidian despair, fragile existential horizon lines separating perseverance and defeatism, honest and unremarkable lives trapped in cultures of false consciousness, impossible desire, self-analysis and self-medication. CR



Though Huebert evidences stewing in his own juices a bit too long a’la Syd Barrett, the music takes a shaggier turn.  ‘The End II/Song of Joy’ in all its acoustic majesty jumps straight from the softer moments of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.  While the anthemic build of ‘Unreal Erections/Severed Heads’ adds in stately horns at the end to elevate the song over its subject of being “22nd Century poor”.  Several years on from its recording Huebert was not only prescient at the time, but he would also likely be more disgusted today with humanity’s further surrender to technology.  If the album has a signature song, it's most likely ‘Nothing Disease’, though the song’s lovely chorus overcomes the pathos of the song.  Even the ragged shamble of ‘Her Aim Is Tall’ has a tuneful thread to it. SBlab

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