Chicago's Souled American have been toiling away in obscurity for well over a decade, forging a broad range of influences (Travis, Dylan, Prine, Spector, Black Uhuru, XTC, Camper Van Beethoven, Little Feat, The Band) into a sound at once nostalgic and before its time, organic and yet utterly alien; a beautiful uncategorizable sound. Crafting woozy funeral dirges and gnarled campfire stomps, they remained safely, well below the surface.
With the rest of the world on the verge of finally 'getting it', just as country was about to receive its indie rock blessing, Souled American were stranded by the spectacular collapse of Rough Trade. Their records were lost and Souled American 'disappeared'. Their next three albums were lost to the US, released only in Europe.
Now, years later, the band have re-emerged (although they were never really gone), shedding musicians and discarding extraneous sounds, and continuing their quest for the sounds they've been hearing in their heads for over a decade.
Framed is 4 CD's, separated into two double CD volumes, collecting their first four out of print Rough Trade albums, "Fe", "Flubber", "Around The Horn" and "Sonny", and tracing the development/deconstruction of their sound, from country rock to folk flecked country dronescapes.
Ostensibly a rock band, their sound continually shifted and twisted. The first two albums are a ramshackle conglomeration of warm muted guitars, strangled harmonies, and dubby, slippery underwater bass. Foot stomping backwoods raveups and rickety bluesy crawls, stretching their sound into muted swamp blues, languid and syrupy. Their third album is a drowsy and drawling, skeletal country, that hints at the murk and mire to come, less sound and more space. And their last Rough Trade album, "Sonny", is truly the pure distillate of their vision; a tarpit of old creaking country 78's and mosquito-buzzing back porch ballads. A record of mostly covers, that would fit as nicely between your Low and Labradford records as it would between your Hank Williams and John Prine.
All four records have been remastered and have new artwork!
"Around The Horn" contains a never before seen video for "In the Mud" for those with CD-ROM drives.
And if you order both volumes direct from tUMULt, they'll come in a handsome cardboard slipcover!
Souled American website
50 posters about Souled American