Tuesday, May 15, 2012

MV & EE - Space Homestead (Woodsist 060)

Trailblazer Jack Herer makes the Space Homestead glow with green.  thanks to Humboldt Relief for the good vibes.  peace to you, bro :)

What can one say about music as beautiful as this?  Furthermore, how often does music elicit tears from one's eyes?  MV&EE's discography is replete with beautiful songs.  Yet, 'Wasteland', the penultimate track on Space Homestead, released on Woodsist, might be the most alluring of all - to listen to the track, go to Dusted Magazine and read the wonderful review by fellow MV&EE head, Jon Dale.  Not surprisingly, it features the contribution of Jeremy Earl - Woodsist, Woods, Hello Sunshine, Fuck It Tapes.  This album has a real D.I.Y. feel and Jeremy's finger prints are ubiquitous.  His contribution to the vocals during the chorus is a very pleasant surprise.  More so, Jeremy's drumming on 'Wasteland' regulates the tempo nicely - some of my favorite drumming of the year.  At first listen, his drumming is instantly noticeable.  Depending on your disposition, this one might hit you differently. However, this poignant track never fails to produce goosebumps on my forearms.  Matt's guitar solo wraps you in that familiar, uplifting MV+EE gossamer.  His fried tones part the clouds, bathing the travelers in the warmth of the sun.  Given the emotional weight of this song, it is also interesting that only three musicians appear on this track - Matt, Erica and Jeremy.  It would be wonderful to hear more of Jeremy on future releases.

Overall, the album has an interesting feel.  The first side contains mostly bucolic, folk styled tracks, including contributions from a wonderful cast of players from various incarnations such as Jeremy Earl, Asa Irons, Mick Flower, John Moloney, Rafi Bookstaber, Muskox, Doc Dunn, Carson Arnold, Matt LaJoie, Coot Moon, Rangoose, J. Mascis, Paulie G., and Willie Lane.  The album starts with waves of lap steel that instantly propel the listener into the the MV&EE universe.  Next up is 'Workingman's Smile', with its sweet, languid tempo, and it would not be out of place on Barn Nova.  'Sweet, Sure, Gone' has a really mellow collective vibe - the vocals being the best part.  Side A ends with two standout tracks, 'Common Ground' and 'Moment' respectively.  'Moment' is augmented by the beautiful concurrent vocals of Matt, Erica, Jeremy and Matt LaJoie.

Where as Side A was a bit mellow and resided in bucolic environs, Side B picks up the pace.  Overall, it is the best flipside that i have encountered in 2012.  'Too Far to See' has a blues feel in several spots and it would not be out of place on C.O.M. classic, Liberty Rose.  Subsequently, the aural beauty of 'Wasteland' makes an appearance before the record ends with another standout, 'Porchlight > Leaves' (PL).  PL has a live sound, one in which the listener does not feel far removed from the action.  Erica Elder's airy vocals hover over, as the cast of players make sounds that snake through your head.  Towards the end, a transition occurs in true MV & EE style.  

Jack Herer would be proud of music such as this.  Blow smoke to the heavens and open your doors to the sound of MV & EE. Space Homestead was produced by MV in glorious Spectrasound and recorded at a myriad of studios.  This nug can be purchased directly from Woodsist or through Eclipse, among others.

Peace to you, bro :)

thanks to lukejhilton for the sweet Liberty Rose vibes.