NEW BUMS is the freewheelin’ two-hander of two very fine songwriters in their own right: Ben Chasny, aka psychotropic voyaging genius Six Organs of Admittance; and Donovan Quinn, formerly of the truly lovely and cultist Jagjaguwar baroque-psych-folk outfit Skygreen Leopards.
They’ve got together before, almost seven years back, for the loose ‘n’ lovely Voices In A Rented Room – the sorta album you’d definitely find in the kitchen at parties, not arsed about being the centre of attention but wholly fun and captivating with so much up its sleeve once you got into conversation with it (try the lamenting “The Killers And Me” for size).
As yet, we have only one cryptic, communicative excerpt to light the path towards the new album: “Back in slagtion … that duo nobody thought to ask for”. Now, make of that what you will.
Just before Christmas they teased us with the freewheelin’ acoustic blues of “Billy, God Damn” all garlanded with confessional whisper and intriguing lyrical alleys; even a little haunted glam backing vocal.
Today they’re dropping a second missive as the muscles flex for that album: “Tuned For Graffiti”. It’s vocally insouciant, pretty of guitar, really showcasing Ben Chasny’s way with a pretty blur of melody; again there’s little glammy microtonal touches, just the slightest hints. And those guitars build and layer. Weirdly and connotatively, there’s something of Gastr Del Sol about the way they communicate musically, if you ask me. Some of the very best things come with their hair all mussed up, and this is one of them.