Release Date: Sep 15, 2009
Record label: Team Love
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Alternative, Singer-Songwriter
Across the light opening lumber of Out Into the Snow, a nine-minute epic entitled “The Drunken Boat”, the perennially weather-beaten Simon Joyner reveals more poise and care than has been displayed over much of his career. Though not really waking until it hits the two-thirds mark and some choppy strings transform the song’s character, it is still a quietly devastating work. It’s as if the first five or six minutes really needed to be monotonous, because without them, the glorious climax is, ultimately, nothing more than beautiful non-meanings.
Simon Joyner's work is more sprawling than that of perhaps any other songwriter working. He goes all in with his expansive, wandering folk songs and makes them work in ways both direct and impressionistic. And he devotes himself to that dreamy expanse as much as ever on Out Into the Snow. In fact, the set-up for this loose song cycle suits Joyner's strengths perfectly.
Out Into the Snow seems an odd title for a Simon Joyner album. His music is often desolate, to be sure, but I can't say it's ever felt cold. Also, from his songs it doesn't seem like Joyner ever goes out-- his poetic lyrics give me the feel of a cloistered life, like he spends his days alone projecting himself into characters that face life for him.