Punch Brothers: The Phosphorescent Blues (Warners)

 |   |  <1 min read

Punch Brothers: Little Lights
Punch Brothers: The Phosphorescent Blues (Warners)

Recently guitarist Chris Eldridge from this band said in an in-depth interview with Elsewhere that Punch Brothers wanted people to have to make time for this album and peel back its layers.

Indeed.

This collection opens with a 10 minute-plus piece which at times refers to the Brian Wilson/Beach Boys and minimalist classical composers like Steve Reich, and also has perspective-shifting narratives.

Later there's power pop with mandolins like dialed-down R.E.M. (I Blew It Off), two classical interpolations on fiddle (Debussy and Scriabin), a reflection from beyond the grave (the beautiful Julep) and a country-lite hoe-down (Boll Weevil).

And this broadly conceptual album about how emotionally dysfunctional and dislocated we have become because of technology like iPhones comes from a band often described as “bluegrass”.

So far, so off-putting in our short-concentration world.

But the attractive features are the intimacy in the delivery (thanks to producer T Bone Burnett), arrangements delivering the unexpected with consideration, and lyrics which engage the brain as much as the heart.

It's said if you don't have time for meditation, that's when you need it most.

If you don't have time for these fascinating if demanding 47 minutes because you have to update your Facebook page or tweet . . . Well, that's Punch Brothers' point.

Start your peel-slowly-and-see here.

(And if you get that reference, then you're smart enough to "get it").

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Mahoney Harris: We Didn't Feel Alone (mahoneyharris)

Mahoney Harris: We Didn't Feel Alone (mahoneyharris)

At the midpoint of this debut album by Auckland singer-songwriter Mahoney Harris there is a lyric that can stop you in your tracks: just when you think you've got her pegged there is Miss You.... > Read more

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Tole Puddle: Frodo (1973)

Tole Puddle: Frodo (1973)

From the late Sixties and far too far into the Seventies, the world was awash with bands -- mostly British -- who were immersed in Tolkien lore. Some like Led Zeppelin and T. Rex managed to... > Read more

Ziggy Marley: Wild and Free (Tuff Gong)

Ziggy Marley: Wild and Free (Tuff Gong)

After a faltering start with the Melody Makers, Ziggy (now 42) uncoupled his music from overly familiar reggae rhythms and incorporated African sounds, hooked up with rap artists, kept a... > Read more