13 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jim White’s Appalachia-meets-the-Pentecostal-south storytelling (some call it gothic folk) clearly sets him apart from many alt-country/Americana artists. While they share a penchant for atmospherics that paint a uniquely American landscape – wide open spaces dotted with rusting cars, and lonely train stations teeming with strangers — White’s songs are colored by a background steeped in struggle: drug use, spiritual conflict, and severe depression. No Such Place veers slightly from White’s superb 1997 debut, taking liberties with new sounds and textures — more keyboards, ambient noises like thunder, sirens, insects, and the sound of a scratchy turntable — allowing his work to be polished just a little more. “Handcuffed to a Fence” sounds at first like a different artist: with sassy slide guitar and hip-thrusting rhythm, it’s almost upbeat, a bit glossy, and smells of optimism — until you realize it’s all a humorous way to make the best of a bad situation (“… freedom’s just a stupid superstition”). The following track, “The Wound Never Heals,” reverts to a more typical, subtle White creation, with shadowy instrumentation and murderous characters. Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” takes on a new life under White’s skewed vision of surreal, countrified noodling, and the rainy day rumination, “Hey! You Going My Way?” has a surprising nod to Lou Reed, with whom White shares more than a few youthful indiscretions. The thinnest veneer of trip-hop adds a different luster to some of the tracks (thanks to a variety of producers, including trip-hoppers Morcheeba), making the venture even more exotic and multi-dimensional.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jim White’s Appalachia-meets-the-Pentecostal-south storytelling (some call it gothic folk) clearly sets him apart from many alt-country/Americana artists. While they share a penchant for atmospherics that paint a uniquely American landscape – wide open spaces dotted with rusting cars, and lonely train stations teeming with strangers — White’s songs are colored by a background steeped in struggle: drug use, spiritual conflict, and severe depression. No Such Place veers slightly from White’s superb 1997 debut, taking liberties with new sounds and textures — more keyboards, ambient noises like thunder, sirens, insects, and the sound of a scratchy turntable — allowing his work to be polished just a little more. “Handcuffed to a Fence” sounds at first like a different artist: with sassy slide guitar and hip-thrusting rhythm, it’s almost upbeat, a bit glossy, and smells of optimism — until you realize it’s all a humorous way to make the best of a bad situation (“… freedom’s just a stupid superstition”). The following track, “The Wound Never Heals,” reverts to a more typical, subtle White creation, with shadowy instrumentation and murderous characters. Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” takes on a new life under White’s skewed vision of surreal, countrified noodling, and the rainy day rumination, “Hey! You Going My Way?” has a surprising nod to Lou Reed, with whom White shares more than a few youthful indiscretions. The thinnest veneer of trip-hop adds a different luster to some of the tracks (thanks to a variety of producers, including trip-hoppers Morcheeba), making the venture even more exotic and multi-dimensional.

TITLE TIME

More By Jim White

You May Also Like