Music News

Folk Implosion

For all of his lovelorn songs, it's not Lou Barlow's wife that's left him. It was his bandmates in Folk Implosion, a gifted side project if there ever was one. Longtime Sebadoh foil Jason Loewenstein opted for life in Kentucky (and as a solo act) over preserving the group's waning alt-icon status late in 2000. A year later, multi-instrumentalist John Davis left. Barlow says Loewenstein quit because he couldn't handle the pressures of touring and recording anymore.

Barlow, too, had a tough time coping. A lengthy period of hard drinking and severe depression followed. But by leaning on his affecting talent and trusty four-track, the 36-year-old songwriter put himself back in gear last year, with fresh Folk Implosion comrades drummer Russ Pollard (the final Sebadoh skinsman) and guitarist Imaad Wasif in tow.

The reconfigured supporting cast pulled Barlow out of his funk in more ways than one. The New Folk Implosion mostly swaps looping beats and slinky grooves for loping guitars and organic indie-rock more meditative, and a surprisingly hi-fi take on Sebadoh's poignant shamble.

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Michael Alan Goldberg