Set for official launch – alongside releases from promising Damnably labelmates Bored Spies and Golden Gurls – on Record Store Day, this third album from Geoff Farina’s post-Karate outfit Glorytellers is likely to get a little lost in the crush for the 400 or so other musical products piled-up on the same day. A state of affairs which is a shame but perhaps also entirely apt for a record that deserves to be found and explored at a leisurely pace by those that really need it.
Having relocated from Boston to Chicago since the last Glorytellers album (2009’s Atone), this long-player features a fresh line-up for the regularly reconfigured band, with Farina now joined by Kenneth P.W. Rainey on mandolin, Riley Broach on double-bass and Jean Cook on violin. Whilst the aesthetics are still acoustically-framed, Current Resident moves away from the nimble jazzy polyrhythms of Atone in favour of deeper and drum-free journeying along the same vintage folk-country routes that Farina has followed intently during the interim years on his terrific two duo albums with Chris Brokaw and on his The Wishes Of The Dead solo LP. Overall, Current Resident may take Farina’s muse even further away from his leftfield rock roots yet it matters little when the results are often so beguilingly bucolic.
Whilst Current Resident isn’t an album that is immediately arresting or radical, its warm hues are restfully and endearingly rendered with Farina’s scholarly songwriting painted pastorally across its eight tracks. The opening “You Ain’t On Your Way To Hell” sets the tone serenely from the start with a subtle bluegrass lilt transporting along his yearning and comforting tones. From thereon in Farina and co. unpack further low-key gems with the mandolin-soaked “Posthumously,” the elegiac violin-drone backed “Electric Spire,” the jaunty rambling “Barely Born” and the bittersweet yet uplifting “So Long Before Her Grave” being the most notable highlights.
Once again, like other Glorytellers and Geoff Farina solo releases, there is not a huge degree of eclecticism on display and it will still take more bookworm-like listeners to properly digest the highly literary wordplay. However, as an exercise in blissfully unhurried rural mood conjuring, it’s hard not to fall under the soothing spell of Current Resident.