Pre-emptive, yes. But, the new Jim O’Rourke album Simple Songs may already have claimed the title of best album of 2015.
Reptar, Father John Misty, J Fernandez, Kamasi Washington, Sir Richard Bishop, Surfer Blood, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, This Is The Kit, Sun Kil Moon, Stornaway, Wilco, A Grave With No Feathers, and if you follow certain press, Mew, Ratatat, Tame Impala and Lower Dens, all, and I really mean all, have stellar albums out already this year (with honourable mentions for Ryley Walker, Tim Kinsella, Sam Prekop and Victor Villarreal). Obviously some are better than others, but still, it’s an impressive list of phenomenal musicians for the first half of one year.
However Jim O’Rourke’s Simple Songs just blows everything else out of the water (imho). Even the title is spot on. Every track actually is quite simple at its heart, but the layers of sound and structure, at one moment channelling Scott Walker at another Can, makes this an instant classic. Never sounding like a throwback, but balancing contemporaneity with a flawless understanding of what he is building upon.
As ever, superlatives are superfluous with excellent music. Just listen to this, and then listen again. Jim O’Rourke’s had an astonishing career producing and playing, solo and with groups like Sonic Youth, Gastr Del Sol, Loose Fur, Wilco, Flying Saucer Attack, Fennesz, blah blah blah.
Whether you know his previous albums or not, this is a masterpiece. </gush>