Fresh Stream

DYLAN SHEARER – GARAGEARRAY

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I want to hop in the car and get away with DYLAN SHEARER. I think we all should. He keeps little misty mementos on his dashboard that are fun to look at. Some sticks of clove gum. A paisley wallet. Elderberry tea packets. A crinkled paperback of “Leaves of Grass.” Word is he wants you to pop in this tape of GARAGEARRAY and light your favorite candle in your mind.

You are better than me if you can get past the first song without playing it again and again. In a blast of doleful Canterbury whimsy reminiscent of Wyatt, Ayers and Barrett (and trust me, I don’t drop those names lightly), “Time to Go” steals my concentration with its lackadaisical, blue melody. “You can go,” sings the California-based man out of time, “You don’t have to grip the old.” The sighing melody (with some distant patronage to Lennon’s “Mind Games”) flows from Shearer’s molasses-dipped tenor against the barely-there jazz scaffolding of piano and drums.

Rock songwriters tend to get locked into familiar chord progressions, but would-be-jazz guys like Shearer paint with their folio of chords, exercising their special gift for hearing a melody no matter what the situation. Garagearray is filled with this sort of impressionistic songwriting that should appeal to anyone looking for a long, meandering mental excursion.

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