Cut of the Day: Super XX Man, "Come On In," Sorta Heavy Metal
"What are you holding on to? What are you holding on three? What are you holding on four? Four more years."
There has always been a childlike, storybook quality to Scott Garred's songwriting. He tells stories so small that sometimes aren't really stories at all—just moments, really. And sometimes in his minimal way he traces a circle of deep sorrow and loss until it connects back full circle to the ecstatic joy of having nothing left to lose. That happens here, on the unreleased "Come On In" from his next album, Sorta Heavy Metal. (There is , of course, nothing heavy metal about the new Super XX Man album; the title track just dreams of starting a loud new band.)
Garred's music with Super XX Man—formerly of Portland; these days of Melbourne, Australia—is thoughtful and peaceful and meditative, but unlike so much gentle music Garred hangs on to his wit and makes sure that only the most compelling lines get repeated. He'll say things that are silly or cliche or uncomfortable, usually just before he says something brutal or profound or soothing. I like waiting to hear those contrasts. Super XX Man's music has made me a more patient listener. I miss seeing the band in person. So here's this track. It reminds me of Nick Drake a bit—especially when the strings come in—but then Nick Drake would never have lt out a little "whoo!" in the middle of the song. He definitely wouldn't have done it twice.