AOTY 2021

Pale Horse Rider

Cory Hanson - Pale Horse Rider
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
2021 Ratings: #111 / 675
User Score
Based on 90 ratings
2021 Ratings: #268
Liked by 10 people
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The Sydney Morning Herald
Much like Wand, Hanson explores recognisable modes of popular music, yet there’s also an unpredictable, mysterious wildness to this hugely talented songwriter’s style that makes him endlessly compelling.

Pale Horse Rider is lonely, lamenting, and distant but beautifully warm, marrying Hanson's love of psychedelic experimentation with a more cosmic take on country. It's more immediate than his sometimes-deranged earlier work, but never so straitlaced as to feel safe or predictable.

Beats Per Minute

Instead of wry irony or wallowing in hopeless abandon, Pale Horse Rider achieves something more like a fellow soul joining in on watching a fire in the distance.


The Wand frontman’s second solo record blows open the chamber pop of his first for a lysergic and unsettling take on cosmic Americana.

a beautiful record full of interesting and poignant moments. I don't really have the words for this, so I defer to Cormac McCarthy:

"The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night. The last instance of a thing takes the class with it. Turns out the light and is gone. Look around you. Ever is a long time. But the boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all."
Drag City Project #5 — Cory Hanson

Cosmic psychedelia's not a bad appellation for this "golden hour", this gentle caress, smeared in red paint, and leaping from boulder to boulder. First suite of three songs are classics, each.
I haven't been able to get into much new stuff lately, nor have I had the desire to even try. I don't know if its that I've just been busy with life and work, or that the dragging pandemic is crushing my soul a little more each day that I can't travel to see my people. I haven't found AOTY to be a particularly enjoyable place of late either. I have my reasons, but there is the whole "if you don't have anything nice to say" thing. But really, I blame it on myself for even paying ... read more
Cory Hanson - Pale Horse Rider

Genre: Psychedelic Folk
Country: US

Final Verdict: 55% (Pleasant Album)
Yearly Ranking: 313th / 399

Highlight: Pale Horse Rider

Made me think of:
King Krule
Neil Young
Paper Fog - 3/5
Angeles - 4/5
Pale Horse Rider - 4/5
Necklace - 3/5
Bird of Paradise - 5/5 ❤
Limited Hangout - 3/5
Vegas Knights - 4/5
Surface to Air - 3/5
Another Story from the Center of the Earth - 3/5
Pigs - 4/5
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Track List

  1. Paper Fog
  2. Angeles
  3. Pale Horse Rider
  4. Necklace
  5. Bird of Paradise
  6. Limited Hangout
  7. Vegas Knights
  8. Surface to Air
  9. Another Story from the Center of the Earth
  10. Pigs
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Added on: December 1, 2020