Album Review – Cast Off by The Aspersions (2022) (Jigsaw Records)
The Jigsaw Records label of Portland, are always one of those labels that it rewards to follow with particular interest, such is their prpensity to collaborate with both the freshest and invariably coolest acts, as well as their ability to act as sage musical archaeologists. Unearthing musical treasures if you will.
The latest act they helped to arise fom the mists of yesterday are The Aspersions. Once the Musical Chairs when Jigsaw released their quite superb Retraced: 1992-1999 acompilation in 2013, thankfully the name change and 9 year musical hiatus has not dampened their quality with this Cast Off album of fresh works.
Whilst the album never really registers above mid tempo, tracks such as Punchline, Care, Candide and History still feel invigorating. Taking the smoky, lived in Bon Iver / Pete Yorn jangly indie folk / indie-pop mix and smoothing off absolutely all the edges courtesy of a subtle twee-pop lack of urgency, this is a sound of beautifully blithe melancholy.
However, the best of the release sees the aesthetic turn towards twang in Before I Fall, Nothing, Remember It and the superlative stand out of Beautiful. Lying equidistant between The Umbrella Puzzles indie-pop twang and Spilt Milk era Peter Astor, this is a dulcet that would fit perfectly into the Dunedin Sound, if that sound suddenly decided it needed a sit down.
Too good to wait another 9 years…let’s hope they are done with the concept of another hiatus ?!