13 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Yes, the second solo album from Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore does present a softer, more reflective musician. Whereas bleeding feedback squalls often accentuate the percolating chaos that permeates Sonic Youth’s experimental works, on his own Moore has turned down the volume and allowed Samara Lubelski’s strings to weave their hypnotic spell around the dense drones that he’s also been focusing on with Rather Ripped-era Sonic Youth. “The Shape is in a Trance” recalls a late-‘60s English-folk aura, while “Honest James” sounds nearly country in its demure cadence, singer Christina Carter adding atmospheric and chilling background vocals to Moore’s plaintive mumble. Even the introductory feedback of “Fri/ End” serves as a tease, a short prelude to a quick-stepping singalong that could come from the Meat Puppets’ ‘80’s catalog. “American Coffin” is closer to SY’s experimental forays, offering a piano instrumental that sounds like incidental music to a short indy film. “Wonderful Witches + Language Meanies” ups the tempo, but it’s still a quiet rocker compared to Moore’s usual sprawl. Seems Moore has struck mellow gold.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Yes, the second solo album from Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore does present a softer, more reflective musician. Whereas bleeding feedback squalls often accentuate the percolating chaos that permeates Sonic Youth’s experimental works, on his own Moore has turned down the volume and allowed Samara Lubelski’s strings to weave their hypnotic spell around the dense drones that he’s also been focusing on with Rather Ripped-era Sonic Youth. “The Shape is in a Trance” recalls a late-‘60s English-folk aura, while “Honest James” sounds nearly country in its demure cadence, singer Christina Carter adding atmospheric and chilling background vocals to Moore’s plaintive mumble. Even the introductory feedback of “Fri/ End” serves as a tease, a short prelude to a quick-stepping singalong that could come from the Meat Puppets’ ‘80’s catalog. “American Coffin” is closer to SY’s experimental forays, offering a piano instrumental that sounds like incidental music to a short indy film. “Wonderful Witches + Language Meanies” ups the tempo, but it’s still a quiet rocker compared to Moore’s usual sprawl. Seems Moore has struck mellow gold.

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About Thurston Moore

Along with his work as part of the acclaimed art/punk rock band Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore also pursued numerous solo and side projects, including Even Worse and the Dim Stars with Richard Hell. His first solo album, 1994's Psychic Hearts, featuring ex-Half Japanese guitarist Tim Foljahn and Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, had an appropriately offhand feel but was far from sloppy. Along with carrying Sonic Youth into the 2000s, Moore collaborated with artists including DJ Spooky and Nels Cline, wrote music reviews and other pieces for Arthur magazine, and issued a book, Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture, in 2005. His second song-based album, Trees Outside of the Academy, arrived in 2007, and featured largely acoustic arrangements and cameos by Shelley, Samara Lubelski, and Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis. In 2010, Moore guested on the Hat City Intuitive's A Ticket for Decay and began laying the foundation for another solo effort, Demolished Thoughts, which appeared the following year.

Following Moore's separation from bandmate, wife, and partner Kim Gordon in late 2011, Sonic Youth was put on indefinite pause. Nevertheless, Moore and Gordon collaborated with Yoko Ono the following year on the album YOKOKIMTHURSTON. By 2012, Moore had begun touring and recording with new act Chelsea Light Moving, as well as joining black metal group Twilight on guitar. The year 2013 saw the release of @, a collaborative album of sax/guitar improvisations with fellow N.Y.C. fringe dweller John Zorn. Arriving in 2014, The Best Day saw Moore shedding the softer acoustic moods of Demolished Thoughts for a return to his signature rock sprawl and daydreamy lyrics. Two years later, he issued the single "Feel It in Your Guts," which was available to anyone who donated to Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. For 2017's Rock n Roll Consciousness, Moore reunited with his backing band for The Best Day -- Sonic Youth drummer Shelley, My Bloody Valentine bassist Deb Googe, and Nought guitarist James Sedwards -- on a mystically inspired set of songs. ~ Heather Phares

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