17 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While his two bands - Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt - virtually defined the alt-country aesthetic, Jay Farrar's solo work has been a sleepy, psychedelic trip through those same sandy plains. His lyrics remain elusive, and his guitars are often open-tuned. But where Farrar once seemed to be chasing the desolate ghost of a Texas songwriter like Townes Van Zandt, on his first official solo album he sounds like a psychedelic cowboy from Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo. His voice is sometimes distorted with the keyboards sonically manipulated. "Damaged Son" fritters away on a violin-synth, "Barstow" loiters with David Rawlings on lap steel. "Voodoo Candle," the album's single, kicks up with the distorted guitar-play giddy-up of Son Volt. At 17 tracks, however, Sebastapol is a dreamlike excursion meant to take several days.

EDITORS’ NOTES

While his two bands - Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt - virtually defined the alt-country aesthetic, Jay Farrar's solo work has been a sleepy, psychedelic trip through those same sandy plains. His lyrics remain elusive, and his guitars are often open-tuned. But where Farrar once seemed to be chasing the desolate ghost of a Texas songwriter like Townes Van Zandt, on his first official solo album he sounds like a psychedelic cowboy from Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo. His voice is sometimes distorted with the keyboards sonically manipulated. "Damaged Son" fritters away on a violin-synth, "Barstow" loiters with David Rawlings on lap steel. "Voodoo Candle," the album's single, kicks up with the distorted guitar-play giddy-up of Son Volt. At 17 tracks, however, Sebastapol is a dreamlike excursion meant to take several days.

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