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Jackson Scott - Melbourne LP
Includes mp3 download of album.
Fat Possum Records
On his debut album, Melbourne, young North Carolinian inner space traveler Jackson Scott sounds like he spent a lot of time holed up in his bedroom absorbing Syd Barrett, filtered it through a whole bunch of '90s music (shoegaze, Elephant 6, GBV), and put it down on a wobbly tape machine. The result is something that's familiar to anyone who lived through the '90s, as there are strong echoes of Olivia Tremor Control, the Moles, Sebadoh, and the Apples in Stereo, but it's not just a nostalgia trip. Scott's songwriting is strong enough that Melbourne stands on its own as a legitimate artistic statement. Not to mention that it's a queasily fun listen. The songs all have a spooky charm, with Scott's vocals often sped up and the guitars strumming through hooky chord changes and clanging out minor-chord arpeggios that nag at the memory banks pleasantly. He does a bunch of different things really well, nailing psych-folk dreamer stuff ("Sandy"), trippy space rock ("Never Ever"), sludgy Sabbathy drone psych ("Together Forever"), and shoegazey ballads ("Doctor Mad"). The songs that just sound like a guy in his bedroom strumming away dreamily as his mind unspools gently and weirdly form the core of the album, though. Check "Evie" for the best example of Scott at his best -- it has a graceful, meandering beauty that's spacey and deep. He also proves to be a total weirdo at times, but in a good way. Like on the upbeat jangle pop tune "Any Way," a cute little tune that he decided would be better with his vocals pitched up to Chipmunk levels. Oddly enough, he's right. He's right all throughout Melbourne and it's a damn good debut from a guy worth watching out for in the future.