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Album #270: Rose City Band – Summerlong

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
  • Best Track: Only Lonely

Every now and again, I have a look at the Album of the Year website to see what I’ve missed. Fiona Apple is still leading for 2020 by some way. Perfume Genius is deservedly high and I keep meaning to listen to Run The Jewels’ latest. One critically acclaimed album I’m not familiar with though is this one by Rose City Band.

This is a project headed by Ripley Johnson of Wooden Shjips, a band I’m quite fond of. On his second album under the name, it’s a more conventional country sound than I’m used to from the space/drone rock of Shjips, although elements of psychedelia remain.

Opener ‘Only Lonely’ is a right earworm and ‘Reno Shuffle’ certainly stirs something, and on a record that kind of sounds like one big long jam, ‘Wee Hours’ and ‘Wildflowers’ run into one another effortlessly to create one satisfying outro.

I get why critics like this. It’s eight slick, well-presented songs, yst unpolished enough to allow for something of an improv feel. For me, I don’t quite get a “wow” factor from it but it’s an enjoyable “something different”.

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