While you might not know of the solo project MJ Lenderman, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Jake Lenderman’s guitar work as a member of one of my favourite bands of recent years, Asheville’s North Carolina’s Wednesday. This week Jake will share the new album, Ghost of Your Guitar Solo, his label debut for Dear Life Records, home to the likes of Karl Blau and Lindsay Reamer. The record was born out of a series of jam sessions, with lyrics inspired by a method championed by the late David Berman, where seemingly unconnected lines are written, with the majority scrapped, before the remaining ones are stitched together into the finished project.
Ghost Of Your Guitar Solo emerged from a particularly prolific period of writing, creating a sound that the band have described as, “country music being played by a noisy punk-band”, the tracks having a raw and ragged quality, the performance perfect in their wonderful imperfections. From the moment the record opens with its title track, resplendent with oozing, fizzing guitar line, you’re transported to a place of noisy sonic wonder. Elsewhere, I Ate Too Much At The Fair nods to the emotive fuzz of Wolf Parade, while the instrumental outro of Catholic Priest could be Neil Young jamming with Wilco. Lyrically, the record seems to walk the line between humour and darkness, taking inspiration from writers like Harry Crews and Larry Brown as Jake talks about over-indulgence, drugs, alcohol abuse and self-loathing, while never missing out on the absurdity and humour that life throws at us all. Whether it is a stop-gap between Wednesday albums, or the start of a newly focused solo career, Ghost Of Your Guitar Solo feels like an intriguing prospect; a record that celebrates life, in all its complex and often baffling glory.
Responsible Agent: MATT SANDRIN
Territory: Worldwide excl. Europe