I’d imagine you and your friends also play instruments as well as make whatever sounds you make otherwise. “Regular” (or, don’cha know, “extreme”) music likely played a gateway role into experimental this and that. Don’t kid yourself, but this requires some imagination. Did you and your friends ever imagine fantasy or fictional bands? You know, “they’d sound like this band meets that band” sort of thing. I did. Buck Young is one of those bands.
Just one of those things you’d normally sit around conceiving of and wishing you had the guts and skill to attempt. Buck Young is quite audaciously so. Buck would like to point out that this is intended as a country record (although it is one made by experimental musicians, mind you). Make of that what you will.
I believe it’s possible to have it both ways, so to speak.
On one hand, the manner in which many songs are illustrative and lack lyrics, calling
attention to the storytelling and atmospheric aspect, which is how experimental music
communicates. Like a film score, I suppose. These pieces of course feature beautiful
applications of looping, effects and so on. Let’s say, in this sense, Buck II is a radio play: hell, there’s even sound effects. Skillfully tape-manipulated, of course. I’ll spare you the indignity of reading who I think is responsible for what on which track, though.
So, no, you don’t normally hear tracks like “Scorpion” in country, but you should.
On the other, country music is entirely about storytelling, except adhering to more
traditional notions of blah blah blah. We hear from our characters a while after we’ve walked around in the world they populate – some modern, drugged, post-social media version of the American midwest to southwest. It’s not fictional. I lived there for just under twenty years. Songs – yes, songs – like “The Ballad of Bruce McClain” I assume to be about real people. I’ve certainly known such characters, but who hasn’t? Send your ex an indignant email, why don’t you. Who hasn’t been on both sides of that one?
Point being, these are stories about the lives of relatable characters, which is what
country music is. The delivery may be experimental, but it should be thought of as a country record. It’s really good, too. I’m not sure what Colter Wall would have to say about it, but Sturgill Simpson might like it. It’s also available on a variety of formats, so you’ve really got no excuse.
– Josh Peterson, 9/05/2019