It is with his earlier band Moths rather than the noisy, grunged out blues of Bookclub that Mat Caron’s latest release finds most common ground. Taking a downbeat acoustic delivery that blends various strands of western music traditions with lyrically emotional subject matter, the end result is a type of apocalyptic folk music; insular, soul searching and personal whilst dealing in universal thoughts and being totally relatable to the listener.
And if you want to apply the over used term Americana to the songs, then it is much more of the Leonard Cohen variety than the Ryan Adams, sharing the same depth and resonance as that enigmatic man’s lyrics as well not a little of his vocal style. There is also the same lack of compromise in the music. It may be the fashion to follow the angsty punk folk model to gain the accolades regarding doing something new with the acoustic format but it is the lilting waltz of “Please Don’t Say We Never Gave You Any Chances,” the cowboy campfire groove of “Who Won” and the John Martyn vibes of “Some Roots” that show a welcome chance of tack from the current fashion.
It’s an album designed to speak to individuals, a sound track to quiet reflection and exorcising ghosts, pondering past decisions and remembering that it is through our failures as much as our successes that we evolve and become well rounded people.