What’s new: Cut Worms, “Hollow Ground”

by Jon E. Lynch

Cut Worms, “Hollow Ground”It’s another great week of releases that shouldn’t be overlooked by those of you with, say, a more discerning music sensibility and refined taste. I’m talking to those of you who actually listen to music actively, respect and search out artists outside of the mainstream, and still stop in at your local independent record store. Belly, featuring Tanya Donnelly, formerly of Throwing Muses and the Breeders, return with their first record in 23 years. Eleanor Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces releases her fourth solo record, this time for the great Frenchkiss record label. Danish post-punkers Iceage have another record for indie stalwart Matador Records.

While I plan on checking in on the aforementioned albums at some point this month, it is the full length from Brooklyn, New York-based Cut Worms that piqued my curiosity and held my attention this past week. Hollow Ground is the debut from Max Clarke (aka Cut Worms), and is a warm collection of music inspired by the ’50s and ’60s, and artists such as Harry Nilsson and the Everly Brothers. The music is steeped in modernity and respect for its musical forebearers, with an acute, keen sense of reverence within the songs. Tiptoeing that line was bold, and if mishandled, could have easily come off as being overtly derivative. Thankfully, not so. The songs and storytelling are very much Clarke’s own, as he plays nearly every instrument on the album, save some drums and percussion, baritone sax, and pedal steel. The rest of the duties are his, and extensive at that: guitar, bass, lap steel, keys, and vocals are all taken on by Clarke, and done so concisely. Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado lends a hand playing, producing, and mixing, and perhaps giving texture to the vintage sound and overall feel. Cut Worms plays Meow Wolf this Saturday, May 5, opening for the great King Tuff, who also released a fantastic new album just a couple of weeks back.

Hollow Ground is available Friday, May 4, via Jagjaguwar on compact disc and on vinyl in a standard red vinyl colorway. Become a member of the Secret Society record club to get the LP on an exclusive, exceptionally sharp looking black smoke version. Secret Society record club members receive a record a month from the Secretly Group label conglomerate (Secretly Canadian, Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and others) on limited edition, members only colorways. Vinyl versions come with the requisite digital download on your choice of various high quality formats (320K MP3, FLAC, or ALAC).

Recommended for fans of Sonny & the Sunsets, Mark Sultan, Shannon and the Clams, the Hollies, Jackson Browne, and Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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