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Cass McCombs – “Opposite House” (Singles Going Steady)

Cass McCombs' new single is an extremely well-written, sophisticated song that's not unlike Bibio's latest music without all the blips and beeps.

Steve Horowitz: The song captures that feeling of having a memory of a memory. You know the kind, the one that seems to have come from a dream, but you know it’s real — like all the houses and apartments one has lived in before but can’t remember what was special about it. As such, McCombs captures something sublime and slippery. However, there needs to be more of a resolution. The songs ends too soon. [8/10]

Emmanuel Elone: Cass McCombs is, at his core, a songwriter, and a good one at that. It isn’t the instrumentation on “Opposite House” that’s meant to take center stage (even though it consists of some sweet, somber guitar arpeggios and organ notes). Instead, the main focus are the lyrics, which somehow manage to be strangely vague yet sentimental at the same time. An example of this is “Living in a Golden Age/Why do these words feel so strange?”, but sometimes McCombs is too enigmatic, relying upon overused idioms to convey a message, like when he sings”One step forward, two steps back”. Couple that with the breeziness of the instrumentation and the lethargic quality of the track, and the result is a song that’s decent, but had the potential to be phenomenal. [6/10]

Chris Ingalls: It starts out as a pretty, minor-key Elliot Smith soundalike, but once the rest of the instruments kick in, there’s a funky, ’70s AM radio vibe that initially seems out of place. Eventually, the funky backbeat and layers of keyboards combined with the jazzy rhythm guitar provide a warm, comforting blanket — it’s also an extremely well-written, sophisticated song that’s not unlike Bibio’s latest music without all the blips and beeps. [8/10]

Chad Miller: The strings and guitar work together really nicely. The melody is pretty strong too even if the vocals aren’t particularly exciting, especially in the lower range where they’re noticeably weaker. Overall, the song is pretty well put together, and it really knows how to lean into its nicest moments. [7/10]

Cass McCombs‘ new album Mangy Love releases August 26th via Anti- Records.

SCORE: 7.25

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