PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Adam Faucett: Blind Water Finds Blind Water

A mature, powerful collection of songs from the Arkansas singer-songwriter, equal parts darkness and light.


Adam Faucett

Blind Water Finds Blind Water

Label: Last Chance
US Release Date: 2014-03-11
UK Release Date: Import
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

If you haven’t heard of Adam Faucett by now it’s not for a lack of effort on his part. A member of the now defunct Arkansas band Taught the Rabbits, a group atop many “shoulda been bigger” lists from that region, Faucett has self-released three solo records since 2007 and toured relentlessly in their support, each disc selling enough to fund the next project. With the release of his fourth record, Blind Water Finds Blind Water, on Last Chance Records, he is primed to become a major figure in the folk, roots, and blues scenes.

The first impression most gain upon exposure to Faucett’s work is of his voice, a nuanced instrument unto itself. He can shift from talk-singing a simple narrative, to a keening wail of frustrated passion, to a falsetto of self-reflection all in the space of a song. Like Richard Buckner, he often bends his songs to the intonations of the spoken voice and the patterns of conversation, leading to surprising and oftentimes rewarding shifts of focus and melody. Musically, Faucett’s sparse backing band (Jonny D., bass, and Will Boyd, drums) provides a full sound, often forsaking traditional melodic progressions for more impressionistic background patterns of sound in support of the lyrics, for Faucett’s words and voice are the justifiable focus of the proceedings.

Tony Pressley has dubbed Faucett “Arkansas’ truckstop poet laureate”, and the fanciful title isn’t too far-fetched. Faucett’s lyrical work evokes another Arkansas poet, Miller Williams, whose daughter Lucinda’s work also shares a blues-soaked, backwoods gothic aesthetic. Miller’s poem “Trying to Remember” could serve as an epigraph for this album: describing a muddy pond and a fish that teases but won’t take the bait, he says “Give it up. It will die in dark water.” Faucett’s songs, over and over, outline the beauty and sadness of striving, often blindly, for something greater than the self.

Opening track “Daydrinker” encapsulates the beauty of the whole album. A dissonant chorded intro leads to Faucett’s opening howl of “I have seen all I need to see. Nobody nowhere’s gonna outdrink me / It’s so lonesome in the afternoon when you’re the only one with nothing to do.” There follows a masterful portrayal of the perpetual dusk of an afternoon bar wherein time passes not by a clock’s ticking but by the clinking of empty bottles gathered, like days, in the waste bin. But there remains an awareness of the brighter world outside that the narrator works so hard to avoid and forget. Reflecting on the human relationships that have failed him, the narrator still must acknowledge the artifice of his escape, saying of a server, “She only calls me baby ‘cause she knows she’s getting paid.” This false world is but a diversion.

A martial drum beat and explosively distorted guitar intro leads into darkly brilliant kiss-off “Melanie". Faucett sings, “Melanie I don’t want to hold hands, get killed by your ex old man / I know that we used to be friends, but no more.” In the voice of someone accustomed to being held at arm’s length but wising up to false promises, he concludes: “I know the way the world works: you get bored and then you get hurt.” The beautiful “Walking Home Late” offers an emotional counterpoint, capturing the simple act of its title, with Faucett’s narrator simply thinking of his beloved. Nothing, not “those thug kids” who might rough him up and rob him or the possibility of the sidewalk opening up to swallow him, can diminish his reverie. The music in the song progresses like nighttime footsteps, lightness in the dark with distorted echoes, evoking perhaps some distant thunder. But at this moment, in this place, all is fine.

“Benton” is a paean to Faucett’s hometown of Benton, Arkansas, coincidentally the location where Billy Bob Thornton filmed Sling Blade. Both the song and the whole of the album evoke that film in contemplating the complex mixture of beauty and darkness lived in the borderlands of the Deep South. “I’ll tell you a story,” Faucett sings, “don’t matter if it’s real.” “Edgar Cayce” is another song of striving, conjuring the mystical figure’s lasting influence on the fringes of the American imagination. The song evokes a time before the internet made every paranormal theory available at a click, a time when kids scanned Led Zeppelin album covers for hints about Aleister Crowley or snuck an older sibling’s copy of the Necronomicon out into the woods in a backpack to lead a mock séance. “We searched unprepared to take advice or a cosmic dare,” and Faucett pauses before concluding, “That’s the way we lose these bodies.”

Blind Water Finds Blind Water is the culmination of Faucett’s years of touring and writing on the road (but always reflecting upon home). A mature, complete work of stunning power, it is an album that celebrates the independence yet underlines the complexities of growing up in small town America. Its songs of striving are equal part darkness and light. Only 32, Adam Faucett is an artist worth embracing and following.

8

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.

Film

In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.

Music

The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.

Television

The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.

Music

The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller
Music

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.

Music

When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.

Music

20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.

Music

The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.

Books

Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.

Music

Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."

Music

50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.

Film

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.

Film

The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.

Music

Bad Wires Release a Monster of a Debut with 'Politics of Attraction'

Power trio Bad Wires' debut Politics of Attraction is a mix of punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise, and more than a dollop of metal.

Music

'Waiting Out the Storm' with Jeremy Ivey

On Waiting Out the Storm, Jeremy Ivey apologizes for present society's destruction of the environment and wonders if racism still exists in the future and whether people still get high and have mental health issues.

Music

Matt Berninger Takes the Mic Solo on 'Serpentine Prison'

Serpentine Prison gives the National's baritone crooner Matt Berninger a chance to shine in the spotlight, even if it doesn't push him into totally new territory.

Music

MetalMatters: The Best New Heavy Metal Albums of September 2020

Oceans of Slumber thrive with their progressive doom, grind legends Napalm Death make an explosive return, and Anna von Hausswolff's ambient record are just some of September's highlights.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.