The evolution of Josh Pearson's music style can be judged by the hair on his face, like the rings of a tree were they about flair as much as age. In his culty Texas psychedelic band, Lift to Experience, Pearson sported some serious sideburns. Calling them mutton chops would be unfair as that implies a certain dedication to angles and unique shaves. This was a massive undertaking of a beard run through the middle at his chin (plus no mustache). It's the weird man's choice, automatic othering but a touch of tradition, like the meth deal Rumspringa kid gone back home who has just a tiny fond memory of trailer park dollars. But now, moved to Paris and pretty quiet, he let the whole thing grow. His hair, too, long like brown straw. It's more Confederate, country and sad, Thoreau on the porch at Walden, just thinking. Now solo, he's playing what can fairly plainly be codified as country/folk, but can also be ambiently described as pretty heavy, long half-sung passages of gruff confusion and decision making, large swings at guitar strings like he's drunk shooting arrows at some shitty target for some reason no one can remember. And look at that, a surprise bulls eye. Last of the Country Gentleman, his solo debut on Mute, will be out in the spring of 2011, and it's kinda real.