I really hope y'all aren't sick of Guante yet. I am definitely a record needle stuck in a groove and I just need to work it out.
An Unwelcome Guest is a concept album. It's about one man traveling across the United States from East to West after an unnamed apocalypse. I choose to assume zombie apocalypse, from the line "We are waking up in our caskets" in track 4, The Stockholm Syndrome (featuring Prolyphic and Big Quarters). Sure, I am probably meant to interpret it metaphorically, and it's a very powerful line taken that way. I just also choose to interpret it literally. Because I can. This is my LitCrit Bill of Rights.
I like, in my mind, to line up this album and Stars Lost Your Name, which is a transcontinental journey in the other direction. Different genres, different stories, different compass needles, but a thread between them. It's good.
A particular favorite is track 3, The National Anthem (featuring Haley Bonar). I need to look into more of her stuff. Intriguing.
Okay, analysis now. Big Cats brings nice beats, and layers them with the nostalgic, tragedies of futures-past retro crackles and bent sounds, as though from time-warped cassette tapes or thermonuclear-slagged records. Guante's voice, now smooth now ragged and raw, delivers very tight images of what we will have lost. What we are in danger of losing right now. What we are losing right now. In a sense he's cataloging our apocalypse-in-progress.
It's all streaming here.
Photos: Jamila Woods at The Turf Club
14 hours ago