Posts Tagged ‘Two Saviors’

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Buck Meek released a video for “Halo Light” this week. The video was filmed during the recording sessions for “Two Saviors” in the New Orleans Victorian house called Wonderland where the album was laid to tape. It’s the same take of the song as appears on the record and features Adam Brisbin (guitar), Austin Vaughn (drums), and Mat Davidson (guitar/pedal steel/bass). The video was shot and directed by Riley Engemoen and edited by Alex Winker (fellow Austinites!).

Some words from Buck about the song: “I wrote Halo Light in two seasons – first as a healing process to accept loss as the seed of new growth – then, by a long string of coincidences, I ended up at Joni Mitchell’s home on New Year’s Eve, at a party filled with her old friends, all standing around the piano singing,” says Buck. “She held court in the centre of the room in an easy chair, like an ascended master, speaking with people one at a time with absolute presence. I remember her eyes being purple. I spoke with her briefly at the end of the party, and was struck so deeply by how the ephemerality of the human body and soul can manifest a collection of work for others to reflect upon and live through for generations to come, expanding outward. I wrote the chorus and finished the song that night when I returned home.”

“While the Big Thief guitarist’s solo work makes more room for American country music than his main band, it offers much of the same warmth and whispery intimacy.” – Pitchfork

“A gentle, charming country-folk treasure from a songwriter and guitarist of real pedigree.” – Guitar Magazine

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

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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.

“Pareidolia,” the second single from Buck Meek‘s new album was just released. “Pareidolia” is the first word that appears on Two SaviorsIt’s a word about recognizing shapes where none were intended to exist – like searching for images in the clouds. It serves as an apt guide through these new songs of Buck’s, which are themselves uncommon and beautiful, and which invite a deep, cloud-gaze state of attention.

“We have all painted forms onto the clouds; a phoenix, a fire truck, snakes, Elvis, and so on,” says Buck. “We saw these visions as children, we encourage children to search for them, and we can’t help but continue to project meaning and symbolism onto the sky, to see mountains in moving water, faces in knots in wood, hidden messages in music, and god in toast. Pareidolia is a phenomenon which threads mundane experiences such as staring at the ceiling in the morning with the seeds of mythology and spirituality.”

Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Buck has been quick to talk up the joys of pareidolia, of how we shape clouds into pictures, form the shapes of nature into recognisable human form, and how we should embrace that, as Buck puts it, “the physical world is inherently limited, but our minds take every possible opportunity to transcend”. Although a solo album of sorts, Two Saviors was recorded with a small band of musicians in New Orleans, near the banks of the Mississippi River, with everything recorded live, attempting to capture the, “human energy of a first take”. On Pareidolia, this manifests as a slice of front-porch Americana, Buck’s distinctive vocal twang accompanied by meandering Rhodes-like keyboards, steady brushed drums and lithe strums of acoustic guitar, as he sings of visions in the sky and past events that flicker in his memories. Whether solo or as part of Big Thief, any record Buck Meek touches seems to sparkle with the presence of life being led, a chronicler of the world around him, he exists in the great tradition of folk-music and on the evidence so far, Two Saviors is shaping up as the latest brilliant chapter in his increasingly stunning encyclopaedia.

Buck Meek’s new album Two Saviors will be out January 15th, 2021. This clear blue vinyl variant is limited to 300 copies and only available here. We’re down to less than 75 copies, so snag yours now if you want one.