Richmond based Lean Year is singer Emilie Rex and filmmaker/musician Rick Alverson [director of the cult-drama, The Comedy (2012), Entertainment (2015) and music videos for the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Oneohtrix Point Never, Strand of Oaks, so on]. Today they grace us with their second gorgeous, ambient single, “Watch Me,” from their debut, S/T album that’s due out October 20th on Western Vinyl.
What for Emilie was a departure from the structured life of academia toward the uncertain contours of a creative field, for Rick was a return to form. Having released 5 albums with his previous band Spokane, Alverson took a 10-year hiatus from music to write and direct feature films. These departures and approaches bring a transience and listlessness to the album, like a walk interrupted by both curiosity and caution.
The album often employs visual art as touchstones for the album’s narrative content. The songs hint, both formally and lyrically, at the dysfunctions of contemporary dialogue, the missteps, accidents, and deep-seated patterns that are either embraced, discarded, or broken in an attempt to build a common place in the world. Within this seemingly quiet and universal palate, each new track is a small, knowing departure from the last, a gradation in identity and form.