A few months ago I met local musician and producer Skyler Norwood
at Beulahland to to chat about his new projects over a few pints. Norwood, easily excitable, was practically buzzing the moment he walked in the room, blushing and speaking in hushed tones about Point Juncture, WA
's new record, which he had just finished mastering earlier that day. "I think it's the best thing we've ever done, for real" Norwood said, grabbing an unlabeled CD from his bag. "The songs all have an urgent feel to them, and everything happened really organically and quickly. Just the four of us, with few guests. It was a very unifying experience."
It turns out Norwood wasn't full of shit. PJWA's latest full-length, Handsome Orders (due out on May 17 from Seattle label Mt. Fuji), sees the quartet stripping away the organized layers of its sound and focusing on melody, rhythm, and a new-found directness
. There are still hints of the grandiose arrangements of the past—Victor Nash's trumpet still dots many of these songs—but Handsome Orders
sounds like the band's attempt at a rock record, and a beautiful one at that. The first single, "Violin Case," features Amanda Spring on lead vocals and perfectly exemplifies the band's less-is-more approach. Peep the full tracklist below for the record, which recorded was in the band's dilapidated barn-cum-home studio, and mark yer calendars for PJWA's release show on Friday, May 13 at The Woods.
1. When You Wake Up It's Today
2. Chronological Order
3. Violin Case
4. Snakey Says
5. New Drags
6. Tough Upper Stuff
8. Baptist Jesus
9. Economics of Baksetball
10. Boston Gold (featuring Los Lobos' Steve Berlin on baritone saxophone)