April 8th Release Day -Caustic Commentary: Orville Peck, Daniel Rossen, Father John Misty, Vince Staples, Wet Leg

In a new weekly roundup, Glide drops caustic commentary on selected tracks from release day Friday.

Orville Peck – “The Curse of the Blackened Eye”

Peck’s twist on alt-county doesn’t seem to appeal to fans of country or alt-country, but rather to an entirely new demographic. Bronco doesn’t do much to win over the pop-country fans in the same way his Shania duet did, but it is his most consistent album to date. Even when the style deviates from Luke Schneider’s steel guitar, the lyrics are classic country all the way. Peck subverts an abusive relationship with his role as the victim, reappropriating the classic country chanteuse trope through the eyes of a gay man. His ability to sell his vulnerability says less about his own versatility than it does, say Morgan Wallen’s.

Daniel Rossen – “It’s a Passage”

Daniel Rossen’s first full-length solo album outside of Grizzly Bear is not the homespun, personal work you might think. It is personal, but in his own distinctive way and with his sleeves pulled down over his heart, which is still more introspective than he usually gets. In this case Rossen’s love is akin to a passage through an icy, forsaken land. Fair enough, after all, it takes about half the song to build into its groove and when it does, it sounds like he’s finally found his way. For all the intricate guitar lines laid out throughout this album though, it’s Rossen’s shuffling drum work here that prove the most arresting.

Father John Misty – “The Next 20th Century”

It’s right there in the title. “Chloe” and “The Next 20th Century” act as bookends to the album and would also make a nifty, if not morose, double a-side. Luckily, we get a whole album, less ambitious than Pure Comedy but more than God’s Favorite Customer, and in other words, the perfect amount for Josh Tillman. “The Next 20th Century” does pick up on some of Pure Comedy’s themes, musing about the human race and its divinity above the bleakness of history. It’s a common thread for Tillman but he’s never been more beguiling in his considerations.

Vince Staples – “Papercuts”

Last year’s Vince Staples was wildly underrated, easily one of the best rap albums of 2021 and the best of his career. So it’s more than a little surprising that Staples would follow it up with an album coming this close in quality and within such short succession. Ramona Park Broke My Heart works as a companion to his self-titled with the best tracks finding the same balance between grit and sensitivity. Some of that probably has to do with Kenny Beats’ expressive production but it’s mostly Staples’ ability to blend his issues with street life, his paper cuts from counting money, to what he really wants, a wife.

Wet Leg – “Angelica”

“Chaise Longue” may reek of Tik Tok cred but its sophomoric rambling is luckily out of place among the rest of these decent alt tunes. “Wet Leg” is actually charmingly sophomoric and “Convincing” convinces me that Rhian Teasdale has a real future ahead of her, but the previously released “Angelica” shows that Wet Leg knows when they’re at their best. As a kind of regrettable party anthem Wet Leg are able to combine levity, silly lyrics and a distinct chiming guitar into a surprisingly nuanced analysis, especially compared to some of their “lighter” fare.

The Linda Lindas – “Remember”

“Racist, Sexist Boy” is the other viral, punk hit that’s getting the album treatment this week. Unlike Wet Leg though, this fits snugly in with the rest of these short and spunky anthems, albeit with a slightly harder edge. “Remember” is the most memorable cut here though, a track that convinces you its pre-chorus is actually its chorus before delivering a hook derived from a strange kind of an alternate reality Alvvays. On top of all that it derives the aimless, weightless life of this group of teenage girls better than any adult could. 

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