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Farmer’s Corner, the upcoming record from James Jackson Toth’s project Wooden Wand, is also the first self-produced record in the Wooden Wand catalog. No wonder, then, Toth sounds so much at home, so much like himself on this record. Nowhere is that clearer than on excellent album opener “Alpha Dawn”. It’s a guitar-and-voice number, built around dusty acoustic and the sweet croak of Toth’s voice, but it’s also surrounded by melting textures, stringed instruments and atmospheric hues that spread this lonesome sound out into something larger than it seems. The song, and the record as a whole, is sparer than recent Wooden Wand records like Blood Oaths of the New Blues and Wooden Wand & the World War IV, but it’s got a similar bittersweet expansion to it. For an artist always fitfully changing, Toth seems to have found a sonic home on these past few records, and that uneasy comfort is clear on “Alpha Dawn”. And yet, even when he finds home, Toth is still restless and wandering in fruitful ways.
Young Boy consists of long-lost half-brothers Alessandro Baris and Joseph Desler Costa (from L’Altra), who collaborated by sending music between Italy and the U.S. after connecting up with one another. Made in 2013 when Baris and Costa met up in person in Italy, Other Summers bears the traces of an intuitive camaraderie as the brothers thread pensive vocals, refined synths, and patient guitar lines together into delicate dream-pop compositions.
Streaming exclusively on PopMatters, Young Boy’s Other Summers is out now via Saint Marie Records.