If you follow the American underground on a regular basis, then you’ve probably already heard quite a bit about Streaking in Tongues over the last couple of years. Their work has been hard to miss – the father and son duo have yet to slow down in their efforts to marry noise melodicism with a poetic folk simplicity that has been harder and harder to track down in the mainstream and indie circles alike in recent times, and their most recent album Live from Lockdown is already getting as much buzz as any LP to come before it. Live from Lockdown is, as its title tells us, a quarantine album, but it isn’t stylized around a singular concept or theme other than the experimentations of Streaking in Tongues themselves.
Classic tracks like “Boy in a Garbage Bag,” “Field of Pineapples,” “Kindergarten Prayer #2” and “I Was a Fool Before You Were Born” get the second life that we didn’t even know they had in them nor needed, and whether you’re a big fan of the left-field folk that this pair makes their living on or not, you’re bound to feel something from the thirteen songs this amazing new record contains.
You don’t have to be a professional music critic to feel the connection that these two musicians and family members have when listening to the songs “Little Big Questions,” “See Me See Me,” “When It Comes to Dreaming” and “Everyone Who Ever Cared;” the emotion in each of these tracks is simply too profound a force to be reckoned with not to notice. The intimacy goes well beyond the lyrics, and I personally enjoy the instrumental depth of tunes like “I Was a Fool Before You Were Born,” Kindergarten Daze” and “Farewell OCD (You Pesky Bastard)” despite their black and white production style. The string play in “Young Again” is telling us a greater story that linguistic poetry can only capture so well before giving in to the pressure of the melodic weight, and though I wouldn’t call any of these songs FM-focused, there’s enough polish in the master mix to make most of this content accessible for a college radio-oriented audience.
MORE ON STREAKING IN TOUNGES: http://www.streakingintongues.com/
If you’ve never heard the work of Streaking in Tongues before, I think that Live from Lockdown is about the best formal introduction you’re going to be able to hear before the year 2020 has come to a conclusion. In this effort, the pair are no longer competing for nor trying to find an audience that is theirs and theirs alone; they have reached a place where they can set the standard through the conceptualism their material is filtered through.
Modernity aside, these guys know exactly who and what kind of an act they want to be, and no matter which direction they take their sound in after the success of Live from Lockdown, I think this LP is going to stand out as being their most endearing and passionately performed from beginning to end. Simply put, this is a five out of five star outing without question.
by Bethany Page