Release Date: Aug 7, 2015
Record label: No Quarter
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Zachary Cale’s last album, 2013’s excellent Blue Rider, was an exercise in sparseness as expansion. The record centered on Cale’s voice and finger-picked guitar, with a few flourishes here and there. But the spare sounds echoed out into vast space around them, making them larger, presenting isolation not as a limitation or a way to be closed off but rather as an expansion, even an extension of the self.
Duskland is a good name for a Zachary Cale album. Duskland would be a good name for all Zachary Cale albums. The NYC-based singer-songwriter has released four of them in four years, and they all take place somewhere similar. They are reliable and soothing, like old-fashioneds: Mix a little barely-perceptible organ hum and faraway slide guitars of '90s Yo La Tengo with the reedy voice of Cass McCombs, twist a few melancholic turns of phrase, and you will arrive at the place Zachary Cale is transmitting from.
Zachary Cale — Duskland (No Quarter)When Zachary Cale describes his fifth album as “western,” he is not likely talking about the desert-dry plunk of cowboy guitar, or the fiddle-drenched waltz-time of Western swing or the lonely yodeling croon of anonymous workhands on a cattle drive. No, I think what he’s getting at is a Morricone-esque evocation of the west’s vast empty spaces, the way that light and shadow can play in surreal ways over arid landscapes, throwing a haze of mystery over even the plainest land formations. Duskland plunges deeper into the drones and atmospheres that Cale began to hazard in 2013’s Blue Rider, layering a fog of mood and resonance over finger-picked architecture.
We devour music at such a feverish pace that, more and more, great collections of songs fall through the cracks. Over the summer, we caught up with another punk band who’s almost as ambitious as Titus Andronicus, a critically and commercially approved R&B singer who somehow isn’t in the ….