11 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Case Studies is the work of Seattle-based Jesse Lortz, who once recorded with Kimberly Morrison as The Dutchess and the Duke. On his own, he's a hardworking under-the-radar singer/songwriter who falls somewhere between Nick Cave, The National, and a bar band with a death wish. The lumbering beats and piano notes of "House of Silk, House of Stone" and the atmospheric organ of "You Say to Me, You Never Have to Ask" bring together a vibe that's made all the weirder by Lortz's unpredictable lyrics, which frequently forego logic for poetry that's weird enough to recall the days of David Ackles and his early-'70s pipe dreams. "From Richard Brautigan" might provide a better clue as to where Lortz grabs his lyrical influences. However, that track and the similarly reckless "Driving East, and Through Her" work on the upbeat; the band's near-jugband approach bursts from the dark shadows with harmonies that resist prettiness at every turn. For that, one must cock an ear to "Villain." There, Lortz is joined by the well-respected Marissa Nadler, who brings color to this black-and-white world.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Case Studies is the work of Seattle-based Jesse Lortz, who once recorded with Kimberly Morrison as The Dutchess and the Duke. On his own, he's a hardworking under-the-radar singer/songwriter who falls somewhere between Nick Cave, The National, and a bar band with a death wish. The lumbering beats and piano notes of "House of Silk, House of Stone" and the atmospheric organ of "You Say to Me, You Never Have to Ask" bring together a vibe that's made all the weirder by Lortz's unpredictable lyrics, which frequently forego logic for poetry that's weird enough to recall the days of David Ackles and his early-'70s pipe dreams. "From Richard Brautigan" might provide a better clue as to where Lortz grabs his lyrical influences. However, that track and the similarly reckless "Driving East, and Through Her" work on the upbeat; the band's near-jugband approach bursts from the dark shadows with harmonies that resist prettiness at every turn. For that, one must cock an ear to "Villain." There, Lortz is joined by the well-respected Marissa Nadler, who brings color to this black-and-white world.

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