Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forward. Seattle-based Red Jacket Mine frontman Lincoln Barr knew that when he and the band recorded their second full-length album, Lovers Lookout due out in October. They recorded on 2-inch tape, something rather unheard of in the world of digital overdubbing.
"We're proud of our first CD [Hello, Cloud], but we approached it like kids in a candy store," Barr said.
On Hello, Cloud, if they wanted more keyboards, they added more keyboards; if they wanted more guitar, they added more guitar. This time around, though, they kept it simple. They recorded in a room together and, for the most part, kept the tracks as they were, mistakes and all.
Recording on tape gives Lovers Lookout and its American retro-rock sound an aura of authenticity. It also provides for a tonal quality and energy that's more immediate and definitely reflective of where the band is musically. The result is church-organ pop and rock songs, rich with slow-burning slide guitar and lazy juke joint drums. And Barr's Conor-Oberst-earnest voice and his emotive, intelligent lyrics on themes of love, life, death and even theology: "Perpetually wandering penitent / ... From the parapet scream, 'Thank my stars,'" (from the song "Deseret News"). When was the last time you heard the word "parapet" in a song?
Saturday, Aug. 29, with Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles, Shark Speed, Sunshine and the Valley; 8 p.m., $5. VAC, 3638 Osage St., Garden City, 208-424-8297.