Tuscumbia by Belle Adair
The record starts rich but tender, the harmonies setting up an album of chilled musings. Long Fade Out has a 90s modern rock vibe somewhere between Gin Blossoms and the jangly pop elements of Pixies. While the vibe is largely based on the sound and feeling, there are some striking lyrics. For example, “love is such a lonely notion/take it to the end and you’ll see why.”
The jangle pops up again in The Absentee. Think of a more serene version of Bennett Wilson Poole. Musically, we’re looking back to the late 60s/early 70s with just a hint of psychedelia. Still, a suspicion of 90s influence remains.
The calming continues in Seen It Through but it’s an interesting sensation when the lyrics veer between uncertainty and pessimism. Take “always caught between ambition and apathy/pushing at borders I can’t move,” for example.
Out On The Blue has some proto vocal runs and then the strongest instrumentation thus far; a highlight.
Phantom Beach is easily the most upbeat song to this point, carried by a strong bassline and drum work. Nonetheless, the moroseness remains: “wanna hide my face in the sunlight…if I washed up on the shore tonight/would you take it all in stride?”
Pushing The Stone is jaunty. After that, Status Quo is about the state of being not the 3 chord rock stalwarts: “this question mark could use a new jump start.”
The album is chilled out, almost dreamy. It can carry repeat listening for the atmosphere alone.
Tuscumbia by Belle Adair was recorded at Fame Studios, Muscle Shoals, and produced by Tom Schick (Wilco, Real Estate, Parquet Courts).
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