DRAG CITY have been so moved by the psychedelic whimsies of new signing E.R. Jurken that they’ve decided the only right thing to do is to is set up a boutique imprint just for him to lead; so a double smashing of the champagne bottle upon the hull, then, as this quirksome talent premieres the Country Thyme label with “Colonels Of The Morning” – you can hear that below.
It’s the kind of Anglophile psychedelic pop that might have soundtracked the beginning of the great comedown from Swingin’ London, a heavy trip in an alley off Carnaby Street, neckerchief hanging unknotted; it could be a lost track by maybe The Pretty Things after S.F. Sorrow, The Kinks before Something Else By … .
Emily (at play) and The Mighty Quinn get namechecked in that briskly strummed first verse, Ed (for it is he) double-tracking the vocals and harmonising with himself over a curiously excellent song.
E.R. Jurken, we’re told, drifted through his thirties, buffeted by the capricious winds of life and upheaval, with a Richter epicentre in 2012; he sold up, perigrinated, arrived back in his former home of Chicago; bought a guitar from a stranger, got nodded on to Rian, big chief at Drag City – for whom he demoed one song a week on his phone.
And before you know it, there was an album, I Stand Corrected; often just acoustic, lush with vocal layering; please to be taking “Colonels Of The Morning” as a kohl-eyed gaze from a doorway in Bloomsbury, leading down to a whole treasure chest of delights, freak-folk supreme among them.
There’s a touch of percussion, a sting of brass, this last courtesy Paul Mertens, who’s previosusly brought the horn arrangements for McCartney himself, Stereolab, The Sea and Cake; just a little keyboard as needed.
It could just be the best acid folk voice we’ve had pleasure to her since Devendra dropped Oh Me Oh My…The Way The Day Goes By The Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs Of The Christmas Spirit for Young God crikey, it is that far back.