Now Hear This 2004

by PopMatters Staff

1 January 2004

NOW HEAR THIS 2004   Can’t figure out what to listen to? Listen to us. Once again, PopMatters’ music team presents a highly opinionated, undoubtedly superlative but ultimately revelatory examination of 18 artists that demand your attention. NOW.
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:: Best Musical Prospect for Winning the Tim Burton ‘Beautifully Creepy’ Award”

Days of Delay, the 2003 release from Portland-based trio Pseudosix, sounds like a record of sinister prophecies, revealed by a poet who knows how to sugar a thorn. It’s a singer’s record of unstably lush harmonies, like Neil Young and the Beach Boys bleeding out into a warm bath. I haven’t been able to stop playing this record, no matter my mood, because I always end up molding myself back into its drift. Lyricist Tim Perry has obviously done some hard existential time, but without surrendering to thumb-sucking despair. The mood of this album balances on a blade, tunneling deep and dark, but with enough aural sense to let its sparse beauty break the suffocation. “Run Rebel” would be My Morning Jacket scoring The Blair Witch Project. “Hazardous Movements” is Elliot Smith writing a pub anthem for spirits caught between worlds. “Chasing You Down” has to be one of the loneliest songs I’ve ever heard, but Perry’s milky crag of a voice, a less smutty Lou Reed, makes you want to curl up at his feet. Days of Delay is solace that doesn’t insult your intelligence. It doesn’t hurt that the players he’s assembled here never miss a step and sculpt every shaky grain of the mood with an expertise bordering on genius. The bass lines are dropped like warm coals in the snow, the drumming sounds likes bone cracks wafting in from another room, and the guitar parts alternately stroke your hair and go “Boo!”. Pseudosix create the kind of intimacy you expect from a church, brooding and otherworldly. Days of Delay is a massively overlooked gem that should be with you under a pile of blankets.

— Terry Sawyer

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