Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gavin Guss on Fin Records

Another one from Fin Records came in the other day, this one from Gavin Guss started out in Seattle as a producer and then as frontman in bands Tubetop and The Tycoons. Recently he's toured with Nada Surf and released a solo full length a couple years back, Mercury Mine, but this looks to be his first release on vinyl.

A-Side's "Riga in the Fall" is a trembly strummed acoustic, slow picked electric, shaker number with introspective close vocals that come off like some old forgotten letter. This is going to be one of those intensely personal narratives that are hard to pull off, how to sing about holding hands? But he does it with a laid back big produced rock that actually was pulled off recording alone in that kind of crafty, check every minute level and effect for days because I've got the time. But then that's no surprise coming from a producer. This is a real slow measured number, sort of in the vein of recent Ben Gibbard. The higher inherently sad range, the same naked sincerity. Pianos, organs, taking his time to get into an overwhelming love... you know the feeling. You ignore everything else but this other person. Which also leads to this epic, building chorus....and wait this is coming to an end? Summer lovin' I guess.

B-Side, "Place in France", you'd think this guy is just a complete romantic, the big layered acoustics ring out, classic guitars plinking, metal strings humming, in the melody of "...there's a place in France where the naked ladies dance..." A turned around schoolyard rhyme is the jumping off point for this track which does it without an ironic twist. He's taking that crazy starting place into a legitimate breezy Mediterranean feeling song that even goes spanish flamenco with clacking finger cymbals, a little medieval and even taking a psych turn with heavy phasers. It doesn't sound workable on paper, that's for sure.
According to the sleeve, Gavin's not one for the spotlight, singing in french he manages this upbeat lush sound in the face of the crude kids song.

Coke bottle clear vinyl from Fin Records

Sample below:

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