Cass McCombs sure knows how to lay it on thick.
The singer-songwriter’s fifth full-length album, “Wit’s End” finds him exploring the depths of human despair. “County Line,” the album’s current single, is about unrequited, or at least disproportional, love. When considering the sample lyric: “I can’t make out the passing road signs / All you would have me do is cross that county line,” it’s hard to tell if this is even a veiled sexual reference within a failed relationship.
What is certain is that McCombs feels pretty damn bad about it all. That song, and others, like the sorrowful “Saturday Song,” are accompanied by soulful “whoa-whoa-whoas” and piano chords reminiscent of current world tragedies.
Though its overall tone is incredibly morose, what I appreciate about “Wit’s End” is its immediacy.
McCombs doesn’t drag listeners through the murky swamp of his emotions, but immerses them in it immediately. It’s a nine-song swamp-suite that is instantly textured, confusing and crazed in a way that is both overwhelming and beautiful.
As you listen to “Wit’s End,” I wish you luck on rising to the surface.
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