For his latest album, New York-based guitar master (and recent Kurt Vile live band member) Steve Gunn decided to take a different approach to his blues-inspired solo material. He assembled something of a rock band around himself (John Truscinski on drums and Justin Tripp on bass), cut some of the long, theme and variation-based sketches he’d been working on down to size and thought about bringing his vocals a little bit more to the fore. The result, Time Off, is a collection of six summery psych-rock songs—led, firstly, by Gunn’s impressionistic, minutely detailed fretwork, and secondly by his stone-smooth baritone, which lends a kind of metaphysical weight to whatever he happens to be singing about. Musically, there’s an obvious debt to Jack Rose, which is why it makes sense that he actually dedicates a song to to the deceased American Primitive guitarist on “Old Strange”; and in terms of instrumentation and overall feel, there’s also something similar to the West Coast acid rock of late ’60s bands like Moby Grabe. But really, as you can hear when you listen to the full album below, Steve Gunn’s really steering this meandering ride down a lane all his own, just as he’s always done. Time Off is out June 18th via Paradise of Bachelors.
Stream: Steve Gunn, Time Off