This track from Guster’s 2006 album Ganging Up on the Sun is apparently about the G.W. Bush administration’s propaganda surrounding the war with Iraq.
That was a bad period in American politics, to be sure, but it’s hard to look back at any of the national crises pre-Trump and not think we were all completely oblivious to what a true Oval Office threat to American democracy would look like.
Every time I hear a Guster song, I like it. I own their five most recent studio albums (two earlier releases are out of print) and each of them is chock full of thoughtful, melodic pop.
Even the best acts release a bad song once in awhile, but these guys are remarkably consistent. They remind me of Ron Sexsmith in that way. You can always count on him (and them) to deliver, even if no particular song stands out head and shoulders above the rest. Solid, dependable. Like a well-made car.
Here’s a nice song from Guster’s 2015 album Evermotion. Guster is a band that just doesn’t seem to record bad music, even if I don’t fall in love with everything they do.
When this track popped up as today’s Random iTunes Selection, I didn’t know it. I haven’t listened to Evermotion much and this is a deeper cut. But I knew it would be a perfectly enjoyable song, with pleasant vocals and an easy groove. Because that describes every Guster song.
Like yesterday’s featured artist, Josh Rouse, Guster is a moderately popular indie act that has quietly amassed an impressive discography. The band’s new album, Evermotion, is their seventh.
This record finds them a god distance, sonically, from their early work even as the songwriting sticks to the same tried and true folk pop formula. Guster’s calling card in the late 90s was acoustic guitars and stick-free percussion, a very lo-fi organic vibe. Evermotion, in contrast, is synth-heavy — almost distractingly so in some cases.
Guster is one of those bands that lives off of my radar until I hear one of their songs, and then I wonder why I don’t listen to them way more often than I do.
When the title ‘Red Oyster Cult’ first popped up as today’s Random Weekend selection, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve heard and enjoyed the album Keep it Together many times, but not closely enough to know the song titles.