The story of the Southerner who leaves the South will forever carry with it a certain poetic solemnity, as though the mystic doom of Faulkner, and his Yoknapatawpha County, follows them elsewhere, follows them everywhere. The cruelty of the Countryʼs history is embedded in their every move, their every utterance, their voice itself. One need only to sit with Rejoice!, the new album from Brooklyn-by-way-of-Nashville artist Jeremiah Carter, once, to comprehend the significance of such antiquities and their reflections both on self and world alike. The cinematic samples of stringed instruments on the opening Title Track, along with a great deal of the A-Side, paints a thousand overlapping landscapes, of plains, of prairies, of mountains. They clash at times, in prickling discord, like dragonflies disturbed in their hovering atop endless fields of cattails. But, at others, they mingle with Carterʼs gorgeous, lush synthesizers, graciously oozing a fullness both enriching and wholly melancholy. These tracks are simultaneously irksome and soothing, the A-Side echoing holograms of a similarly sad theme throughout—taking its time with us, for the benefit of our own self-reflection. The incorporation of the spoken word of Roberto Bolañoʼs “43. Like A Waltz,” on the track of the same name, humbly nods to timeless and scenic summers, or not summers—a beautiful forgetmenot.
Static and droning highs overtake the air on Side B, like a rainforest mist, the synths returning as sunbeams through the treetops. It becomes all the more warming and loving than its preamble. The glowing tones of “Perfectly Red Ochre,” and “Abandonment Veil,” beckon us away form the previous perils of dissonance. They hover like the haze after a much needed rainfall, as if to say, “See? this land is not doomed.” Organic instrumentation interrupts the drones on this Side—solitary acoustic guitar on “Over Your Cities,” and piano on closing track, “Silence Belongs To Us.” Itʼs Carterʼs reminder that a human voice lay behind all this, that someone is playing these instruments, composing these epics. By its end, Rejoice! has done what historians will forever aim, yet consistently fail, to do—it captures the soul of a land. It channels Carterʼs voyage from Southern States to Northern, with the conflicts of his past, and the landʼs, trailing behind him like a cape. He wears these sounds, and he wears them beautifully.
- JP Basileo
released March 10, 2020
Mastered by Bishop
Released in collaboration with Vaager / A Sunken Mall