Apparently Austin musician Caroline Sallee AKA Caroline Says worked three jobs when writing songs for this her second LP. So if you count writing music as a job then that's four. Who says musicians have it easy? Anyway this is an album influenced by moving to a new town, living in awful places shot through with the on the road melancholy of Bruce Springteen's 'Nebraska'.
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Having previously made an incredible record ruminating on the floods of inertia she felt moving back in with her parents, Caroline Sallee’s music continues to beguile from unexpected corners on ‘No Fool Like an Old Fool’. This gorgeous, amorphous record has hints of ‘Nebraska’ and shades of decades-old pop; it hides in the bedroom then takes songs out for a surf. All the while her voice remains muted, unmoved, a still frame in a world spinning quick on its axis.
I wrote that paragraph three songs in, by which time Sallee had shown off her music in its fragile acoustic economy, as well as with its jangle, harmony and nostalgia. Though it continues to move and remould, evacuating the acoustic vibe for something fuller, Sallee centers her music on quiet flips of the coin: it can sound dejected, and it can hopeful, but it never veers too far from what puts them at balance. “A Good Thief Steals Clean” is perhaps the best example of how much control she has over what she’s doing -- a thrumming programmed beat and a droning funeral morgue of a synth take the record out of its initial shape, but Sallee shrugs and keeps on mumbling out emotes.
With production as sad and sludgy as a waterlogged pitch, Sallee sees opportunity: she can make jangle pop songs like no other, with “Cool Jerk” basically sounding like cancelled Horsebeach. It's always a remarkable thing hearing splendour from squalor, and this songwriter makes endless use of a sludgy backdrop. Make her famous so she can keep making records forever.
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- There's No Fool Like An Old Fool by Caroline Says
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