On his second solo record, last year's How the Thing Sings (Editions Mego), the production pushes his high-velocity
six-string tangles into the red; they unspool like skeins of barbed wire. On most pieces Orcutt moans and whoops along wordlessly, extending the sounds of his guitar. "Cathartic" is one music criticism's most abused adjectives, but no other word suffices to describe Orcutt's songs—at the end of each one, you feel as drained as he seems to be. When I saw him play live, I was certain he was having a meltdown, though he never lost the thread musically.
Below you can listen to the title track of Orcutt's latest album.
Bill Orcutt, "How the Thing Sings"
Sun Circle, Tapes (Autumn)
The Ovations Featuring Louis Williams, One in a Million: The XL and Sounds of Memphis Recordings (Kent)
Frank Rosolino, Kenton Presents Frank Rosolino (Capitol)
Orchestra Harlow, Heavy Smokin' (Fania)
Wu Man, Immeasurable Light (Traditional Crossroads)