June 29, 2013

Song Review: Cass McCombs' "Morning Star"

Cass McCombs' brand of songwriting is very telling of his nomadic life, in which the Baltimore-bred musician has, in recent years, called the Big Apple, Los Angeles and cities large and small in between his home. With the exception of one-off singles, surprise shows and less enthusiastic public appearances, not much is known about what McCombs' plans are since releasing 2011's doubling of sublime alt-country pageantry in WIT'S END and Humor Risk, but a self-released unveiling by the name of "Morning Star" at least provides some comfort food in knowing simply that McCombs is doing something. What's interesting about his press-shy persona is that for a musician seemingly so disinterested in being part of the industry's modern landscape of ultra visibility, it's these sort of releases that surprise you with just how well-connected and embedded he remains in its most timeless and resonating sub-cultures. In this case, "Morning Star"'s surfsided strumming and eloquently crass poems (the words "shit" and "shitty" are put to full use amid a spread of nostalgic beauty descriptors) are accompanied by the Patrick O'Dell skate video featuring classic cuts of those worlds' biggest players, providing the song an equal sense of coolness and badass cred. The production of "Morning Star" in itself is crisp, clean and vibrant in spite of McCombs' woeful musings, leaving wonder to believe McCombs' long-standing studio man Ariel Rechtshaid may have been part of this effort, and although that may be purely speculative on AwkwardSound's part, the thought of McCombs and the red hot indie-pop producer teaming up once more on LP 7 sounds like it has peak potential for brilliance if "Morning Star" is indicative of that.

Cass McCombs - "Morning Star"

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