welcome back folks! this week we are starting a brand new discography – Sycamore Smith, and we’ll be kicking it off with his 2011 record Redux!

so, firstly, some context, since this is a bit of a strange record to start on. Sycamore Smith is a musician who began his work as vocalist and frontman for the Muldoons, and has released quite a bit of work as a solo artist, which is what we’ll be looking at. his first proper release is Redux – a record collecting several EPs into a single release, with a few extra tracks thrown in. i’m familiar with two of the tracks here, The Man With the Skeleton Arms and Hokum All Ye Faithful from Smith’s collaboration with Tomas Kalnoky on You by Me, Vol. 2, so i’m excited to check out more of his work! (as a note for completion’s sake, it looks like Shantantitty Town is a bonus track on some releases that was covered on the You by Me collab, though i wont be talking about it below)

Sickdom is a great first track here – its dark and strange and gleeful in a weird way. really dig it. Loosen the Soup is funny – ive got mixed feelings about it but the bit in the chorus of “you could do it with milk / you could do it with tears / if the milk gets spilt” is p dang good. love the rapid pace of Cock On a Rose. Threeways is very funny, its got a little ramble to it that is extremely fun. Bastogne is fine. Earballs is p good – i like the little twist at the end. The Antler apile definitely cultivates a strange vibe while being anything but direct, haha. The Brothers Ape aint too bad, it reminds me a lot of early Decemberists stuff. The Gigolo Magician seems to drift past me every time. Abigail Crow is extremely nice – i really like the choruses here (also, it was my funny seeing Flanagan here, given my exposure to The Man With the Skeleton Arms). I really dig the chorus of The Windy, Windy Night, specifically the bit about “reeking of the sins he had condemned the day before”, haha. The Bounce, the Bulge, and the Ball opens with one of the most intense kazoo solos ive ever heard. really fun track. Rosie Every Day of the Week reminds me of another track i can’t place, but damn i fucking love this song. huge fan. the second verse to The Figmoron Tree is really good, the bits about “i wont tell you but if you look at the stumps the rings will”. Honey Creeper’s a pleasant, grim little track. nice vibes on this one. no strong feelings about The Devil’s Red Glare. The Man With The Skeleton Arms rocks. big fan of this one – love the swing on the chorus. kinda just fine on The Reaper’s Favor. The Censored Sailor is a very funny track – i really like the ends of the choruses here, haha. True Love Ain’t For You, Love doesnt hit me much. The Congress of Obsidian Eels is a track i’d like to like more but it doesnt quite work for me. Hokum All Ye Faithful is a masterpiece, even if it drifts into edgy atheist territory in places, haha. This Here Finger’s nice, a subtlely angry track. Randy On the Range is a pleasant littke closer – keeping a bit of the vibes from the last track but with an even lighter instrumental vibe.

faves – Sickdom, Threeways, Rosie Every Day of the Week, The Man With The Skeleton Arms, Hokum All Ye Faithful

this was an extremely fun if understandably eclectic collection of tracks. Sycamore Smith is talented and full of character in both his lyrics and vocals on this record, and the instrumental seem to slip between the early Decemberists vibes i mentioned before a folky guitar style that makes the You By Me collaboration make perfecr sense. not a ton of thematic cohesion or tight track sequencing given that this is collecting existing EPs, but Smith has some fun in jokes lyrically, like Flanagan, that make this very fun to dig into. im extremely excited for Grosspapa.

Redux – 7/10

unfortunately, Sycamore Smith only has one other record, but next up is 2017’s Grosspapa.

this is the beginning | next: Grosspapa

all my reviews for Sycamore Smith