Comfort will come in the movies.
The opening lyrics of Guidelines For Style, one of the thirteen diverse but somehow unified tracks on Now They Shut Us Down, pretty much sum up the slightly mournful but ultimately hopeful yearning for release that you are left with after listening to the new release from San Francisco's Kid Mud. This first full-length album from the multi-instrumentalist is a bit of a surprising affair. At first listen, it is an appealing blend of clear-voiced singer/songwriter and nicely fuzzed guitar, but it takes a few listens to really start to appreciate the subtleties of the music.
Now They Shut Us Down is a somewhat introspective album that manages to retain an accessibility which draws you in and sets you up for the almost imperceptible chord progressions from breezy electro-pop to ethereal layers of lush shoegazer goodness. The rich and lush sound evokes a dreaminess without losing the clarity of radio friendly pop. It's a dreaminess that alternates effortlessly between a breezy summer evening and a gloriously building fuzzy guitar anthem.
There are moments of acoustic folk offerings that evolve into bittersweet but satisfying campfire singalongs. There are lush choruses of aaaaahhh-aaahhh alternating with the matter-of-factness of "it all seems so simple to leave the gun lying around". There are dark periods of loneliness in a basement apartment that culminate in a building refrain of "sticking the knife in my own back".
Now They Shut Us Down is the sort of album that makes you take a step back and realize that there are a more than a few layers here, waiting to be uncovered. And although it's almost scary to contemplate what you are going to reveal as you peel those layers back, you know you want to anyway.
Kid Mud is the latest artist to join Will Benham's feisty upstart San Francisco-based record label, New and Used Records. N&UR has built up an impressive posse of talent over a relatively short period of time, signing musicians such as the Passionistas, Tigers Can Bite You, Shiloe, and now Kid Mud.
Do yourself a favour and check out Kid Mud's new album at New and Used Records. I have a feeling you'll want to keep going back for more listens, to see what the next layer reveals.