RIYL: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, coffee and pie, Pullman, Lambchop

Label: Gold Robot Records

Niilo Smeds’ vision of America isn’t the cheeriest, but it sure is true to life. Once You Were A Baby brings up failed dreams, betrayal, manipulation – a “land of bad memories.” Smeds’ brand of americana incorporates post-rock/neo-classical elements (a la Rachel’s or Friends of Dean Martinez) with surrealistic lyricism that goes perfectly with the washed out scene on the cover like black coffee and cherry pie. “Morning comes like a lava flow,” “the taste of autumn on your tongue will tell you that you can’t crush the world overnight,” “you serve the guest from your mother’s breast,” and so on. The America you’ll envision on here involves a trashed house after a rambunctious party to cap off a hectic work week, complete with brown bottles and beer cans blanketing the floor with some passed out attendees every which way. With the smell of alcohol saturating the air, you’ll step outside to rock on a chair on the porch while you look at the downpour in total darkness with a background of amber-colored streetlights and trees.  Listen to “Marker of Days” below via the SoundCloud stream and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details

This 13-song collection moves from post-Willie pseudo-country to synth-drenched ghost stories to instrumental introspections. The record is anchored by Niilo’s fingerstyle guitar, tape-echoed vocals, and evocative lyrics.

Price $17.99

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