Turning along the ellipsis...

Best of 2021

Low - Hey What
Hey What
Sep 10

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pressrg -
So enters the scene—a shaky, tenuous, and weary collection of indie-rock songs with Americana stylings and a fairly unsubtle Silver Jews influence (the background vocals on "Pay for Me" fairly scream Stephen Malkmus à la American Water). Oddly enough, there's a real argument to be made that this, the written-off Cincinnati debut from everyone's favorite Brooklyn darlings, actually features some of the most interesting production of any National record—you can hear ... read more

Recent Reviews

pressrg -
Belief—grazes like white horses. Reconciled to the irreconcilable. Caught in a gap, an elliptical gyre, "the cracked lookingglass of a servant". WHAT. Looked at me with those smokeblue mobile eyes. Omphalos. Still, obligated to a horizon so far away—just between us.
pressrg -
Sometimes, when you actually engage with "the enemy", it turns out they're not quite who you thought they were—and that maybe dismissive critique should be turned elsewhere. This is great album.
pressrg -
She industrialized folk music, they say—but her own folk-rock has also never been this naked, never quite shown its skeleton like this, sinews bleeding out their own painful ballads. If its middle section feels a little stiff, its bookends are miraculous, forceful, liminal pieces burning up, whirling up like a sandstorm—In Liverpool.
pressrg -
Gorgeously arranged psych rock from the Kurt Vile collaborator. Understated, quiet songwriting: listless, contemplative, and immediately affecting. Don't miss out.


Aug 20, 2021
A recent poem I'm proud of, and which I wanted to share with you.

“the shore’s edge,” july 2021
this is my reckoning
i hear you, roaring sea
whistling winds demanding
that the tall grasses might sway
calls of seagulls searching
against the endless tide
wet fights the sand
you hide it all
and tell me so
as your whispers become
the only thing
i will ever hear
Aug 16, 2021
First off, let me apologize for the late reply - life has simply been insane, and so I had to step back from interacting with basically everyone in my life. This is, after all, how things must be sometimes. Nonetheless, I greatly appreciate that you took the time to read my poem, and I'm glad to know that you picked up on the importance of the boards being of creosote in particular. I don't know if I want to spoil the thinking behind it, but it really has a lot of significance in understanding what the narrator is considering.

I also understand your opposition to social media, although I personally find it redeemable in some ways. It is, though, often a hellscape of sorts indeed.
Aug 3, 2021
Here's a poem of mine I'd love to share with you - it's called "what we see and do not know."

we project in the clouds
and on the creosote boards
of the barns in the countryside
waiting for scorn from our elders
submerged in the underbelly of happiness
rise from the depths
and you will find what you had known before
Aug 3, 2021
Luckily enough, or unfortunately, however you choose to look at it, I feel like the poems drifting around my head connected with the matter of the anglerfish lack inspiration currently, as I don't feel heartbroken enough to perceive myself as a feeble dependent. Or, maybe there's a way to spin this? I'll mess around with it and tell you if anything hits.
Aug 3, 2021
Hi again! Apologies for the late response, I've been quite overwhelmed by various duties to attend to before heading to college. I really do hope that I'll be able to indulge in as many creative writing classes as possible at the college level, and I am certain I'll find plenty of inspiration as I experience the process of completely uprooting my life. If you'd like, you can follow my poetry account on Instagram to see some of my work (@wordsaboveourselves), or I can simply send you some things here. I'll do the latter for now and if you'd like to look at the account too, great.

I love your description of Tram as sinister. It feels precise in its evaluation of the way the music interacts with listeners, as if it were attempting to draw them into a trap, as if it were seducing the listener with their own fear. I really, really appreciate that.

Finally, that bit about the anglerfish is absolutely fascinating! What a relationship that seems to be.
Jul 26, 2021
And to continue my rants and rambling and whatnot, I have been madly in love with many tracks from 'Heavy Black Frame' for longer than I expected to enjoy them. "Nothing Left to Say," "When It's All Over," and "Reason Why" often ring in my mind.

A personal request - is there any chance I might be able to share my poetry with you? I know it can often be almost painful to read more amateurish stuff, but I'm always seeking out advice and feedback, especially since I'd love to be able to get some work of mine published. I head off to college this fall and hope that will be a chance for me to launch my artistry, or at least to find some new inspiration. Who knows?

I guess, I'll end by asking if there's anything interesting you've been up to. Has anything amazed you recently, any sight shocked you, any feeling washed your body with a sensation unlike anything else you've experienced prior? I'd love to know.
Jul 26, 2021
Ok, I completely sympathize with your issues regarding the trap you speak of. We always seek some dimension to our work and to elevate it beyond the purely sorrowful or loving or furious plain, so the issue often does become one of our sense of self-pity or self-hatred, however it might manifest. Then again, to counter your anticipation of losing precision and certainty, I always have believed that ventures into the infinity of our condition should be lazy wanderings rather than marches. We are not soldiers we are lovers, of something or someone.

I'm also quite impressed by your ability to dedicate yourself to books this summer so well, as I constantly try to do so, but find myself distracted by shorter, quicker releases of adrenaline (recently, clips from The Sopranos on YouTube). It's silly, but I remain a child as much as I aim for ages above me. So things are, I gather. However, I've managed to slowly make my way into Anais Nin's Cities of the Interior, exciting indeed.
Jul 11, 2021
And while I despise my poetry, I find it a serviceable outlet for chasing after a fuller understanding of my existence. I guess that's the main motivation, but I've also just always been enchanted by literature and the written word, so it happens that poetry feels very natural, and when I'm writing it, it doesn't feel like a chore. What do you mean by the trap of sentimentality, though?
Jul 11, 2021
Wow, thank you for the detailed response! It's much appreciated, I always enjoy some type of more longform conversation, no matter the medium. I'd certainly recommend The For Carnation, as their self-titled was perfect in my eyes, and I find their guitar work enchanting. And you're certainly right - any piece of music that touches the heart evokes some innate desire to put the feeling it created into words, but I guess I've let myself get lazy and haven't been writing about records at all recently. Maybe you'll light my inner flame again, then. I certainly agree that often, this site turns into a bit of a game, but I always find myself with a smile on my face when I see people who have decided to just enjoy music and give it the appreciation it always deserves. I also extend the same thanks, in hope that the humanity we share with each other makes us even more human than we were before.
Jul 9, 2021
I think it's time to bring back the CD as a collector's medium... not supplanting vinyl, mind you, but alongside it. Some albums are just better suited to one medium than they are the other - I love lingering over both.


Not here to perform sociality, but to share in a ceaselessly self-discovering sense of 'world'.

J.N. for life—that is to say...

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