VIDEO REVIEW: Cass McCombs “Unearthed”

The contents of Cass McCombs‘ long and winding double album Big Wheel and Others fall into one of two categories. About half are capital-s Songs, with verses and choruses, beginnings, middles, and ends. The rest of the collection expands, with mesmerizing slowness, to fill less rigidly constructed boundaries. These are not tracks, they’re drive-by moments that feel like scenes instead of performances, as if their gently cycling vocals and accompanying acoustic guitar lines had always been going on, and snippets of it happened to be recorded and tossed together into a collection. “Unearthed” falls into the second category

The video for the song consists of just two images–a wintery mountain scene and a climber crouching on his stomach in the snow–and for much of the song the shots stay so still that they could easily be pictures instead of film. Like the song, the video focuses on the small changes that take place in a mostly-empty environment, drawing focus to little shifts like the soft billowing of a cloud or small changes in the mountaineer’s gaze up the mountain.

Cass McCombs will bring his stark brand of musical hypnosis to the Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight, with Endless Boogie. Check back for my coverage of the show, but don’t stop there–you can still grab your tickets by going here. Watch the video for “Unearthed” below!

Unearthed by Cass McCombs from Eric Fensler on Vimeo.

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