Tim Kasher Releases His Second Solo Album

27 Feb

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Over the past 15 years, Tim Kasher has released more than ten albums playing with a number of different bands — among them Cursive and The Good Life. The 39-year-old singer/songwriter is also a childhood friend of Conor Oberst — the very successful indie folk-rock artist known as Bright Eyes — the two have occasionally guested on each other’s CDs, with Oberst even referring to Kasher in the lyrics of one of his songs.

Kasher released his first solo LP, The Game of Monogamy, in 2010, as well as a companion follow-up, Bigamy: More Songs from the Monogamy Sessions. Now, he’s back with his second full solo release, Adult Film, released on the well-respected indie label Saddle Creek Records.

The album is alternative rock with incisive, if sometimes depressing, lyrics from the prolific artist. The pace of many of the tracks is amped up and almost frantic — with circus-like synths, Farfisa organ and even the theremin (for all you theremin fans!).

“American Lit” is the perfect album opener. The music is hyper, driving, organ-centric rock with a snapping snare drum and almost spoken vocals. The self-deprecating lyrics say, “I’ve got a story to tell/And though I’m not sure what it is/I’m sure it’s funny as hell/And tragic and dramatic/And personal and universal.”

The next track, “Truly Freaking Out,” continues the fun with a galloping romp — fleshed out with bouncing, swirling synths, prominent drums, and shotgun lyrics. This might be the best track on the album.

“Where’s Your Heart Lie” is a somber piano ballad that becomes a bit noisy as the track progresses. While it could be considered depressing, after a few listens, I found myself liking the raw reality of the tune more and more. It really stuck in my brain.

“You Scare Me to Death” features the theremin meandering through a ghostly soundscape overlaid with uplifting acoustic guitar and breathy vocals. And “A Raincloud Is a Raincloud” is another bouncy sing-along supported with guitar, drums and synths — with brass in the lead break.

One note: if you’re purchasing this to play for a family audience, be aware that there is strong language on four of the tracks. (I guess that figures for an album named “Adult Film.”) But otherwise, I think you’ll find that this is a fun CD with a number of memorable songs.

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