Born with a knack for conjuring fine images and warm sounds with a curious underbelly, Midwestern-bred, New York-based Max Clarke will release Hollow Ground, his debut album as Cut Worms, on May 4th via Jagjaguwar. The week of the album’s release sees Cut Worms kicking off a month-long tour supporting King Tuff throughout North America. On the heels of presenting “Don’t Want To Say Good-bye,” a “charming 60s-style pop ballad” the artist now shares “Cash For Gold,” and its accompanying video directed by Elizabeth Skadden.
There does appear to be some attempt at narrative in the video, although it’s hard to pin down exactly what that is. There again Cut Worms is quite on the arty end of the spectrum. Musically it’s mellow, dreamy and ticking all the Cut Worms boxes with his retro vocals.
Cut Worms’ songs crackle with the heat of a love-struck nostalgia: golden threads of storytelling, like visceral memories, woven together with a palpable Everly Brothers’ influence and 50s/60s naiveté. While most of Hollow Ground was written in Clarke’s current home of Brooklyn, a number of songs on the album bloomed from Clarke’s time living in Chicago, including “Like Going Down Sideways” and “Don’t Want To Say Good-bye.” Both gleam with new life after initially appearing on Cut Worms’ debut “Alien Sunset” EP, released last fall. The record was recorded in Los Angeles at the home studio of Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, and New York with Jason Finkel at Gary’s Electric. Clarke handled most of the instrumentation throughout, playing guitar, keyboards, bass, and lap steel.
Hollow Ground is out May 4th on Jagjaguwar