Actively choosing to prolong one’s creative process can be a remarkably engrossing endeavor. Some of the humanity’s greatest creators – Cezanne or Leonard Cohen -maintained protracted periods of creation throughout their lives, with Cohen’s 80-verse iteration of “Hallelujah” serving as the ultimate example of what can be gained through exorbitant periods of time taken to create.
Granted, the post-Impressionistic movement of the 19th century and “Hallelujah” never saw their rightful time in the sun until long after the literal (Cezanne) and proverbial (Cohen) deaths of their creators. That being said, there’s can be a stoic sense of romanticism to those who choose to indulge in a project for a little while longer than most, and as far as extended musical indulgence is concerned in Nashville, October Tooth has long remained at the front of the foray (even if it positioned in the darkest corner of said “foray”).
Heading into another year of promotionally stunted yet compositionally stunning releases, October Tooth’s fourth iteration, Easy Corners, enters a new ethereal plane once left unexplored for the typically minimalistic creator. Where past versions – One, Two, Three – operated amongst wholly bare bones sonic soundscapes in service of motif, Easy Corners takes a more concerted approach to its musicality (thanks in part to an expanded role by local (and equally enigmatic) producer Cowboy Sam) all the while honoring the thematic tenants October Tooth was borne out of.
The muted movement of uncertainty on tracks like “Sing Me Down” and the lackadaisical fever dream that is “Easy Corners” presents Easy Corners as a whole in a new light – more lush and expressive in a musical sense than past efforts, but anchored by lyricism above all else. Simple whispers of “you are the good thing coming back to me” anchor the liturgical hook while early mentions leaving “new flowers on my bedroom floor” offer blatant misdirects or brief autobiographical glimpses into October Tooth’s narrative focus.
Easy Corners maintains the pensive nature of October Tooth’s prose throughout, as “3:00 PM” takes time spent alone and career perspective into a new realm of comfortable uncertainty – “that was just a job I took to keep the lights on” – but ascends to a new forthcoming plane once thought unconscionable in past iterations, with literal (or figurative) admissions of theft and self-preservation.
If one were forced to provide a musical parallel for October Tooth’s Easy Corners, the most immediate comparison would have to be Beach House – with “Pinehurst” and “Windshield Notes” being the most Beach House adjacent of tracks on the project. That being said, such a collation is not meant to undermine the uniquely October Tooth atmosphere that’s readily available throughout Easy Corners, as the project simply comes about as October Tooth’s most realized and fleshed out.
After years of laboring to affix a narrative voice, Easy Corners provides the sonic veil in which October Tooth can operate most freely, even returning to older tracks with fresh air (“Brand New Calendula”), and maintaining the ubiquitous sense of subdued optimism that has over-arched all of October Tooth’s works to date (as embodied by album closer “Its Alright”). While October Tooth may be inherently reticent, Easy Corners acts as the realized iteration of a project that only promises to continue expanding in its muted effervescence and plain-spoken nature.
Easy Corners is October Tooth’s fourth release in a project that releases new music sometime in October of each year, every year; for forever. Easy Corners will be available in full on October 14th, across all streaming platforms.