In early September 2018, on the eve of the announcement of his latest album ‘Bottle It In’, Kurt Vile decamped to the Catskill Mountains in upper state New York with friends and fellow musicians to rehearse, prepare and ponder the year’s road ahead. The brief getaway, which counted Matt Sweeney and Toronto’s The Sadies in its attendees, is captured in a short documentary film directed by Ryan Scott which you can watch below. In between hanging out and exploring the remote and rainy surroundings, (bottle back) catches a solo acoustic adaptation of ‘Bassackwards’, a performance of ‘Check Baby’ with The Violators, and a special backyard rendition of ‘Baby’s Arms’ featuring The Sadies. And it’s basically great.
The Sadies are enjoying a fantastic run of form. Their last two records have both been brilliant autumnal works and this one begins in pretty much the same vein – the opening chords of Riverview Fog are a quite specific swirl of acoustic country psychedelia; it’s like they’ve captured the sound of light dappling the delicate fire of autumn leaves. It’s not far from the kind of sound that tyros like Ryley Walker have reached. Then again Another Season Again reaches back into their more raucous like past, the guitar sounding like a huge pick is strumming a chain link fence, the guitar solo like a string of barbed wire placed atop, while inside there’s a more tender heart with harmonies buried well down in the mix. Suddenly the trees are all bare and the light hurts your eyes. It’s a return to their spiky roots and something you might find in The Noise Museum but instead this is an instrumental that sifts through the surf, twang and jangle that they’ve been trading for the past couple of decades. Continue reading “The Sadies “Northern Passages” (Yep Roc Records, 2017)”