BUCK MEEK – ” Two Saviors “

Posted: January 18, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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When Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek asked the band’s go-to producer Andrew Sarlo to oversee his second solo album Sarlo agreed, but there were some non-negotiable conditions. Everything would be recorded live using just eight dynamic mics, there could be no overdubs and headphones were banned.

It’s a familiar rootsy, organic approach to that which enabled Big Thief to release four beguiling indie-folk albums in their first four years, and it works a charm on Two Saviors, recorded on a humble Tascam 38 eight-track at the humid height of a steamy New Orleans summer. Set up in a Victorian house one block from the Mississippi, Meek taught his band these gentle, unpolished country arrangements on the fly, recording everything inside a week. The songs had been written while Meek was on downtime following Big Thief’s pair of 2019 releases, Two HandsandU.F.O.F., following the end of his marriage to the band’s lead singer Adrianne Lenker a year earlier. The mood is pastoral and reflective, Meek looking back with fond perspective on a past chapter of his life.

Buck Meek’s new album, “Two Saviors”, one of the first records released this year, and I wouldn’t bet against it being one of the best. Recorded by Buck, alongside producer and engineer Andrew Sarlo, who also worked with Buck on a number of Big Thief records, “Two Saviors” marks a change of tone for Buck’s solo material. While his self-titled debut was a character driven snapshot of the American Dream, here Buck seems to tap into something more personal, with these almost cathartic confessions spilling out of him.

Ahead of the record’s release, Buck this week shared the latest track from the album, “Candle”, co-written with Big Thief bandmate Adrianne Lenker. Lyrically, the track is a somewhat troubling affair, a song that seems to always be attempting to run, yet keeps getting drawn back; the sweetness of, “the same love I always knew” contrasted with the sighing inevitability of, “I guess you’re still the first place I go”. The lyrical juxtaposition is set against a musical backing that seems to murmur along with the words, the slide-guitar that seems to exist like an exhale of sadness atop the warmth of the Rhodes-piano, as Buck’s vocal is at times joined by bandmate Mat Davidson, before he leaves again to let Buck travel on alone. This really feels like a master-craftsman at work, a songwriter who knows exactly how to ring every drop of magic out of a track: this is something truly special.

Guitar performed by Buck Meek and Adam Brisbin Drums performed by Austin Vaughn Pedal Steel and Bass performed by Mat Davidson Produced and Engineered by Andrew Sarlo

Two Saviors is out today via Keeled Scales.

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