Timeless melodies with heartbreaking narratives on delicately arranged record.
It’s been 20 years since the release of Wilco’s seminal album, ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot‘. That initially misunderstoood masterpiece is a collection of beautifully crafted songs dressed in noise infused ambience. It reveals enough of the creation to pull us in, while keeping the rest hidden to encourage curiosity.
Dietrich Strause understands the beauty and subtlety of this art form very well. ‘You and I Must Be Out of My Mind‘ is a collection of sparse, delicately arranged and softly spoken songs decorated in a kind of sonic interference that would make Jim O’Rourke proud. Arranged around acoustic guitar melodies with piano and horns sitting atop a sympathetic rhythm section, the record evokes not only Wilco but classics from other artists active around the turn of the century, such as Sparklehorse and Grandaddy.
This is perhaps unsurprising. Strause came of age in that period, and is hardly a newcomer with four studio albums behind him already. The production style on this record reflects Strause’s relationship with Great North Sound, a converted 1800’s farm house. Experimental and playful, open and warm. Muted pianos, synth trumpets, vibraphone, marimba, analog tape delays, and dream-like vocals stretch across the eight track album in an adventurous collaborative effort.
Weighing in at 8 songs and only a little over half an hour, it’s lighter than it might have been. But those 8 songs hold plenty of promise, and much to recommend them.