On Places Remember Us, Rootless delivers what might just be his most healing and cathartic release yet.
Released today on Aural Canyon Records, this record is more reserved and stripped down than last year’s game-changing Docile Cobras, but it’s this more minimalist approach that allows for the music to be so universally moving. Most of the songs feature Rootless (real name Jeremy Hurewitz) unaccompanied on acoustic guitar, playing elegiac and sanguine melodies. Occasionally, he is joined by the soothing sounds of nature (like the hoots of an owl on the album opener, “The Owls are Not What They Seem”) and tranquil alto flute (provided by John Also Bennett), which help add a deep zen-like quality to the music.
It may be no surprise that this album was recorded through the bulk of the pandemic, as the songs tend to give off both the feelings of isolation and hopeful optimism. Tracks like “How The I Speaks to You” appear to glow with a meditative introspection that is somehow both positive and stoic in tone.
Even the album’s title feels like a reaction to the pandemic. While we all stayed huddled in our homes over the last 13 months or so, dreaming of the places we missed (even the most mundane of locations), perhaps those places spent that time missing human life, too. This notion is only hammered home further by the track that bears the same name, as Hurewitz’s fingerpicking is more wistful and discordant than anywhere else on the tape. It’s like his guitar playing is voicing the confusion and lonesomeness of our abandoned offices, stores and main streets that were once bustling with life. It’s a staggering piece, to say the least.
If there was ever a sonic smudging ceremony that could cleanse us of the last year, the psychedelically expansive guitar fantasias of this album would be it. Get your copy from Aural Canyon today and let the healing begin.