If Dylan Shearer’s prior record, Porchpuddles, felt like the warm embrace of the sunniest of psychedelia, his new release, Garagearray (a collaboration between San Francisco heavyweights Empty Cellar Records and Castleface) is the bittersweet glow of the post-trip come down. I imagine Shearer, a little wide-eyed, the last bit of tracers just bleeding off the tree branches, sitting down on a soft couch on a porch overlooking a nice meadow and this album spilling out of him. Where Porchpuddles still had one hand gently resting on the leg of psych and garage, Garagearray seems to have bid adieu to the whole affair, instead turning in an album of sad, shy folk rock. With Petey Dammit (of Thee Oh Sees) on bass, you’d expect the rollicking good time affair of garage-turned-insanity, but this is a subtle, subdued, little album driven by the gentle rumble of Shearer’s voice. Garagearray, like Porchpuddles before it, has a tendency, in the best way, to float a bit, to drift around our shoulders and ears, a hazy cloud of scattered images and emotion. This has nothing to say about the content, or weightiness of Shearer’s music though; these are beautifully composed pieces, layered with sound and thought and instrumentation. Dylan Shearer is a great musician and Garagearray is the mark of what great musicians do: change their sound ever so slightly without losing the heart of who they are.
:Dylan Shearer – Meadow Mines (Fort Polio):