The Nashville quintet Promised Land Sound has taken a big leap on its recently released second album For Use & Delight (Paradise of Bachelors), keeping one foot planted in vintage country-rock and placing another in a kind of languid, expansive psychedelia more concerned with getting lost than getting blasted. Many of the songs are lamentations, chidings, and pleadings in response to rejection or, worse, indifference. The exquisite “She Takes Me There” seems like a celebration of the emotional highs of the narrator, but the song is actually a bittersweet expression of solitude. Over a rolling midtempo groove and plangent slide guitar Peter Stringer-Hye gets lost in his head, ruminating on an unattainable love and thinking about his own stalwart devotion (“I’m bound to lose my mind / And the clock starts to unwind / And no one knows what’s real”) before imagining his woman with another man. Check it out below.
There’s a rather nasty streak to “Oppression,” on which the song’s narrator upbraids someone who seems rather self-absorbed, but the narrator is the one who ends up coming off like the asshole, spitting out judgments like, “Your mind is in a cage with no release.” I don’t know if there’s some sarcasm at work or not, but even if the lyrics verge on childish at times, the music is always fully formed, blossoming outward and suggesting that these songs will really come to life on stage. “Otherworldly Pleasures” is one of several songs that taps pretty heavily into late-60s Bob Dylan, with a syllable-crammed sneer, although the lattice of sweet-toned guitars push more toward the Byrds and the Band. The instrumental “Dialogue,” with guest contributions from Steve Gunn, betrays a touch of Nashville regionalism, a slightly twangy evocation of fingerstyle guitar played with a bluegrass-ensemble dynamic but a trippy vibe, while the introduction to “Canfield Drive” sounds like it was nicked from one of Jim O’Rourke’s late-90s solo records. Promised Land Sound headlines the Empty Bottle on Friday night.
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Markus Hinterhäuser & Reto Bieri, Galina Ustvolskaya (ECM)
Jeffrey Zeigler, Something of Life (Innova)
Gerry Mulligan, California Concerts Vol. 2 (Pacific Jazz)
Various artists, Nawa: Ancient Sufi Invocations & Forgotten Songs From Aleppo (Electric Cowbell)
Klas Nevrin Ensemble, Live at Lederman (Found You)