It isn’t the new Jeremy Messersmith album, but it is a batch of fresh songs from the busy singer-songwriter that should tide us over as he winds his way through America’s living rooms on his latest tour.
Titled Paper Moon, the new six-song Messersmith EP is tagged as “ambiant folk,” and features the mixing work of one of the Cities’ best conjurers of ambiance and atmosphere, Grant Cutler. The first two tracks are completely instrumental, while the remaining four progress from sparse, repeated lyrical passages (“#3”) to something that closer resembles Messersmith’s other material (“#6”). Cutler’s fingerprints are all over this EP, and even the more straightforward-sounding songs are wrapped in eerie reverb and basement echoes.
“I took inspiration from a few Brian Eno quotes,” Messersmith writes on his website. “The first is ‘Repetition is a form of change’ from his Oblique Strategies. The second is simply a question I’m always trying to answer: ‘Why am I not making the music I’m listening to?'”
The EP serves as a nice stepping stone between Messersmith’s last studio album, the ’60s pop-oriented The Reluctant Graveyard, and his slightly edgier, more rock-influenced new full-length, which is tenatively due out this spring.
Listen to Paper Moon here, and purchase it (at whatever price you choose) on Messersmith’s Bandcamp page.