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Stuart Pearson "Mojave" - Dark country from deep in the desert.

by Sophia

"Mojave" is a strong country, with dark atmospheres, dark, in which converges a great musical research. The album is composed of a considerable amount of instruments and tracks are susceptible to interesting stylistic variations as evidence of an eclectic and sophisticated work.


From Through the Woods to today

Stuart Pearson is a singer/songwriter originally from Long Island who has been writing songs since he was seven years old. In 1995 he was part of the band Through the Woods, voted band of the year by the National Academy of Songwriters. It was a five-piece band that used 19 instruments on stage: things like bicycle wheels, bowed guitars, tuba, glockenspiel, hurdy-gurdy, squeezebox, banjo, hubcaps, sax, clarinet and so on. They played what is now called "Dark Americana."

So Stuart started performing in restaurants and cafes in Los Angeles, using a slinky, a toy monkey that plays cymbals, remote controlled toys, an accordion, a hurdy-gurdy and other plastic objects to cover hip-hop and metal songs. This led him to perform on the Taste of Chaos Tour and the Warped Tour. Stuart is now casting shadows with two albums, "Dark Americana: Stories and Songs" and "Mojave" with the help of his wife and lyricist Hunter Lowry. These songs are snapshots of the faded sepia tones of American struggles with sin and redemption. It's about bad people making bad decisions.

Lots of instrumentation and research


"Mojave" is the second in a series of dark Americana albums. While the first album, "Stories and Songs" took themes from two centuries ago and transformed them with a slightly psychedelic mindset, "Mojave" is more focused on reflecting on life, death and problems in the small, crumbling towns that dot the Mojave Desert. These towns are sometimes no more than a few buildings; some abandoned, others serving as lonely pit stops for passing motorists. Skeletons of dilapidated homes bend their index fingers in a welcoming gesture to visit their innards (or the torn, torn and rotting remains that still abut the highway).

 

Into a dark, sometimes claustrophobic context goes Stuart's voice, a cyclopean voice with a timbre vaguely reminiscent of the great Johnny Cash. "Mojave" is a strong country, with dark atmospheres, in which converges a great musical research and where many different sounds are mixed. The album is composed of a considerable amount of instruments and the tracks are susceptible to interesting stylistic variations, reflecting an eclectic and sophisticated work. Worthy of mention are also the precious collaborations, above all that of Hunter Lowry who in One Cut sings a sort of lullaby with her masterfully angelic voice. The album ranges from a classic country-folk as in Like a House with Broken Windows and Tomorrow's Gonna Hunt You Down to others with a more heavy singing and dark sounds as in Down the Ravine and Dragging the Lake (On the Day of the Dead), which also has strong blues influences. Finally, in The Interstate we touch closely the psychobilly.

The transience of things

 

The lyrics are particularly deep and through a very descriptive mode reflect the corruptibility of the small things of existence, the signs of time and the sense of saddening irreversibility that leave behind the bitter awareness of the individual that life is somehow consubstantial to death.

“Like a house with broken windows

 

The voices waft out and waft in.

 

Painted words on the crumbled drywall

 

List all of the bad men I've been.

 

And the weeds push through the cracked foundation

 

As the earth reclaims my mistakes

 

And the wind through broken windows cries

 

Ahh oooh...

 

 

Like a house with broken windows

 

With shards of glass under foot.

 

Rays of light beam through the ceiling

 

That fell into ashes and soot.

 

I can hear the long-haul semis on the highway

 

Their horns howling low and alone.

 

As the wind through broken windows cries

 

Ahhh oooh”

 

The lyrics of Like a House with Broken Windows, through poetic expressions describe a desolate landscape that serves as a metaphor for the transience that falls upon all of existence and life more generally.  Even more excruciating words can be found in Dragging the Lake:

 



"Been walking these streets since I woke up alone

My love lies deep in dark despondence

Tears of grief, tears of loss, tears of love

And I look on with gentle fondness

Can’t seem to find the me she’s speaking of

Cherry tops blaze in the gathering dark

Little kids gape through the fence at the park

Watching from here like I’m part of the throng

The party’s for me but I can’t play along

The mad parade, so loud and gaudy

Screams of life, screams of life, screams of life

But I’m lost here without my body

Facing night, only night, always night"


"I’ve walked these streets since I woke up alone

My love lies in the depths of dark despair

Tears of pain, tears of loss, tears of love

And I look with sweet affection

I can’t find the me she’s talking about

The tops of the cherry trees blaze in the darkness that thickens

Small children are left speechless through the park fence

Looking from here like I’m part of the crowd

The party’s for me but I can’t play along

The crazy parade, so loud and flamboyant

Screams of life, screams of life, screams of life

But I’m lost here without my body

I face the night, only the night, always the night"

 

 

The poetic hostility is further accentuated to photograph an existential condition of alienation and meaninglessness that materialize on the one hand in an intimate pain, on the other in a total inaction towards life.

 

"Mojave" is an album that includes 10 tracks and is an original composition with high content, which combines country music with themes typical of gothic music.

 

An album to listen to, freeing your mind from the banality of daily routine, letting yourself be carried away by the sounds of the many instruments used and the enveloping voice of Stuart.

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