With all the soul-crushing distractions and noises that wreak havoc on our day-to-day lives, there is something incredible about watching someone concentrate. On the subway, in the corner of some bar, on a crowded street — the sight of someone perfectly lost in something is enough to send pleasant chills right through me. I kind of feel the same way about musicians who pour themselves into organic, lo-fi recording, in which the no-frills production quality evokes images of late night, soulful sessions in some lonely bedroom. This is precisely the kind of record indie-rock legend David Pajo has made.
It must be mentioned that Pajo was a member of Slint and Tortoise — and Zwan, which was kind of an awkward experiment, so we won’t delve too deeply there. He’s also recorded solo material under such monikers as M, Aeriel M and Papa M.
But whatever name he picks, Pajo is known for innovative, spacey post-rock that’s experimental, creative and deftly pulled off… but just enough to keep him unknown on a larger scale. Which suits him just fine. Upon listening to Pajo it’s quite clear that even after two decades, he still has room to evolve.
Recorded into a computer with one cheap mic, Pajo wrote this material during what he described as the lowest of low times, more out of emotional necessity than anything else. He hadn’t originally intended to let his label (or any of us Pajo fans) hear it, but, for whatever reason, he changed his tune — what we have here is a record of acoustic, psychedelic, filthy, loner-lamentation balladry. And unlike most singer-songwriter albums where the songs don’t vary much, here they do.
‘Ten More Days’ is a rollicking, melancholy romp complete with eerie whistling interludes. ‘Manson Twins’ starts off like Elliot Smith and ends with an electronic loop akin to Postal Service. ‘Mary of the Wild Moor’ is a whispering Southern anthem, and ‘Let Me Bleed’ and ‘High Lonesome Moan’ are just great songs that once again confirm Pajo’s truly unique talent.