Archer Prewitt


by Brad Cohan

30 July 2002


Once synonymous with the post-rock hybrid and its indulges into pretentious mechanics, the Thrill Jockey label has shed itself of its countless Tortoise side-project excursions over the years and has expanded into a prolific aesthetic menagerie, ranging from the free jazz gale-force blows of Fred Anderson to the dusty countrified roads of Giant Sand. Recently, this Chicago-based imprint has delved into the Curtis Mayfield-influenced soul musings of the National Trust, releasing potentially the most sex-inducing album you will hear this year (Dekkagar). Now, a mere couple of months later, Thrill Jockey has thrust upon us yet another impeccable slice of vinyl, the sunbathed ‘70s style pop dreamscape that is Archer Prewitt’s Three.

Already a fixture in the indie community as a member of the jaunty electronic-tinged popsters the Sea and Cake, as well as a proven solo artist in his own right, Prewitt’s Three, not unlike fellow Chicago native Jim O’Rourke’s own Bacharach-styled songwriting ventures such as Eureka, wafts a delicate blend of serene orchestral pop that is downright majestic from the get-go.

cover art

Archer Prewitt


(Thrill Jockey)
US: 4 Jun 2002
UK: 3 Jun 2002

Echoing the sunny disposition of its fluorescent cover art, Prewitt’s recipe of liquidy-smooth voice, infectious guitar hooks, and soaring arrangements results in feel-good-all-over tingles, and the opening track “Over The Line” details all the lovely elements to perfection. An elastic guitar riff percolates before segueing into a sensuous harmonica-fueled massage, nearly approaching pastures Neil Young roams. But Prewitt’s heart rests on iridescent pop, not stoner country, and “Over the Line” is a ringing endorsement of that. The song shimmers and glows in soothing, epical fashion, resonating with magical poptones. The synth-driven pop sparkles of “Tear Me All Away” conjures images of an indie rock James Taylor, sans the cheesiness, while “When I’m With You” chugs along on an addictive, driving guitar hook recalling Luna’s 1992 classic “Slash Your Tires”. And don’t think the heavenly pop universe ends there. Prewitt doesn’t waste a second of Three’s near-hour length, filling it with an affinity of bouncy rhythms and pop goodness, in turn eclipsing the output of many of his underground rock contemporaries.

With an orchestral backdrop and hook-laden guitar collages reminiscent of crystal clear blue skies, Archer Prewitt’s Three boldly transcends that of the indie rock norm (all the post-what have you’s), creating a thing of masterful pop beauty that is not to be missed.

Topics: three
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//Mixed media

20 Questions: Amadou & Miriam

// Sound Affects

"For their ninth studio album, acclaimed Malian duo Amadou & Miriam integrate synths into their sound while displaying an overt love of Pink Floyd.

READ the article