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February 25 street date. "Still Life", Carson McHone's third album and first release with Merge Records, quivers like a tightrope, with songs about existing within such tension and surviving beyond the breaking point. These are stories of sabotage, confusion, and surrender. The album is a testament to the effort of reaching, sometimes flailing, for understanding and for balance. "Still Life" invites us to gasp at our own reflection and acknowledge the unsettling beauty in this breath.
The songs of "Still Life" were written in quiet moments between tours and recorded away from Texas in Ontario with Canadian musician and producer Daniel Romano. The phrasing and tones recall John Cale, The Kinks, Richard and Linda Thompson - like-minded artists of the late 1960s and early 70s, another era of transition and innovation. On "Still Life", the musical punctuation is intricate, erratic, and at times even playful. The arrangements provide texture to the landscape of the songs while sustaining the underlying thematic tension.