Sunday, July 8, 2007
Urban Prairie Pick: The Sky Observer's Guide
Everybody knows the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, and the celestial has always been proudly represented in Lone Star culture, be it bands (Explosions in the Sky), sports (Houston Astros) or the state nickname itself. Amy Cook also sees something unique up there, but the alt-folk singer-songwriter isn’t content simply marveling at the enormity of what lies beyond earth. On The Sky Observer’s Guide—written in a prolific four-week gush—she tells simple, bittersweet, earthbound stories, refracted through the panoramic scope of the heavens. Things like this happen when you leave the industrial clamor of L.A. for a humble, weirdly-named West Texas town like Marfa. Said Amy, “Marfa’s nothing but open sky and a million stars and I think that got me on those sort of analogies—thinking about the bigger picture of it all, putting yourself in the place of just being here on this planet, where you can cover the moon with the tip of your thumb like an eclipse. It doesn’t make you feel insignificant, but it changes your perspective to be somewhere with a wide-open sky.”
The upcoming Sky Observer’s Guide, due 7.10.07, showcases Amy’s brilliant band, with Nina Singh (David Garza, Future Clouds and Radar) on drums, Brad Rice (Son Volt, Tift Merritt) on guitar, and Bobby Daniel on bass. The compelling production by Jamie Myerson is simultaneously lush and gritty, mysterious and honest. As opposed to overtaking the songs, in Myerson’s capable hands, the production allows the lyrics and melodies to shine.
Posted by Chris Brown at 7:25 PM