Cass McCombs has been on more than a few critics' lists over the past few years, thanks so his tightly written, evocative way of spinning intimate lyrics together with minimalist pop. His latest, Wit's End, continues his trajectory — putting him in that rarefied zone of the songwriter's songwriter. His tracks here are sparse, but carefully plotted. A slight acoustic guitar unveils a sweet, evocative world on "Pleasant Shadow Song" while "Hermit's Cave" is like a psychedelic, folk vision from Donovan's songbook but set in waltz time. Wit's End is a distinct mixture of chamber pop, indie whispers, and intimate soul music. This last point is addressed succinctly on "County Line" — the album's staggering focal point; something like a heartbreaking Philly soul number as envisioned by a melancholic.