Music News

Cass McCombs: Wit's End


McCombs has built a brilliant resume since he began recording in 2002, being labeled as "unobtrusively brilliant" by famed BBC disc jockey/journalist John Peel. Wit's End has already been labeled as "miserable American folk" and "a downer" by some, yet there is an intangible beauty in what McCombs accomplishes over his eight tracks. Sure, Wit's End won't exactly leave you feeling upbeat and peppy, but for those that can see past McCombs' demure style, there exists something truly astonishing in the man's music.

What the critics are saying:

The Quietus: Once in its jaws, Wit's End slowly and methodically eats away at the subconscious like a Venus fly-trap dissolving its prey.

Consequence of Sound: The slow, unassuming nature of the song sets the stage for the rest of the album, as these eight songs fail to outwardly demand your attention but earn it with their masterful execution and subtleties.

Spin: Wit's End is even more hushed and sluggish than 2009's Catacombs, leaving lighter Dylanesque fare for depressive Leonard Cohen depths.

Pitchfork: So yeah, this record is a downer. But there's rare beauty in such darkness, too-- just look at forebears like Leonard Cohen, Elliott Smith, and Nick Drake. Or even Edgar Allan Poe. Because, along with its mopiness, WIT'S END is creepy as hell.

Wit's End is out now via Domino.

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Michael Lopez