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Dispatches from the Highlands

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recorded at home, for the rst time recently was a pleasant surprise, but less than it oth- erwise would have been given my familiarity with 2010's In Memory of Loss , an album that demonstrates his evolving talent, not only over Desire , but from start to nish. Better songs, better recording, better production. e same could be said, at least the record- ing and production, for 2013's Falling Faster an You Can Run , his last "pre-fame" record, aka, before he put together the Night Sweats. Falling is more of a step from In Memory as opposed to the leap from Desire , adding more sonic textures along with some hints of the stylistic embrace of soul soon to dene his work. Taken together, these three records show an artist devoted to his cra, developing his sound, nding his "voice." In hindsight, the path to his present success seems evident. Osees Intercepted Message four other variations). Now they're Osees. e restless Providence native is about as prolic as they come, and when you're pumping out mul- tiple albums a year for nearly two decades, qual- ity will vary. While I've enjoyed some of Osees/ Oh Sees work since Smote Reverser , nothing has hit me quite like Intercepted Message . It's got the usual Dwyer "charm," but compared to 2022's A Foul Form , and many of his other works, it's far less beat-you-over-the-head garage/punk/ rock and takes a more nuanced, if Dwyer could ever be described as such, approach. Quirky, at times experimental and trippy, some tracks sound awfully LCD Soundsystem-ish, while "Submerged Building" is James Murphy and his Brooklynites mashed with Beck's Midnight Vultures . Dwyer certainly knows how to rock. But it's even more fun when he indulges his whims with a wider palette. When we last met John Dwyer in 2018, the name of this outt was Oh Sees (followed with at least

Album Notes from Erickson “The Soundtrack to your Chill”

Nathaniel Rateli & e Wheel Desire and Dissolving Men

Back in November, I received an email an- nouncing a 500-copy vinyl reissue for the 16th anniversary of an album I didn't know existed

from an artist I love. It now gives me an

excuse to go back to 2007 and revisit the evolution of Na- thaniel Rateli and to share some tunes that t the encroach- ing winter perfectly. I was familiar with his solo, pre-Night Sweats work, but had not heard of Desire and Dissolving Men , ocially released by Na- thaniel Rateli & e Wheel, which, funnily enough, features Rateli playing nearly all of the instruments. e man himself called it, "e rst album I’ve ever made on which all of the songs I recorded are exactly what I wanted them to be." Which is interesting, consider- ing it's only his second release, and rst to his name, following one with the group Born in the Flood. But in reality, it serves as an impressive historical document, hearing the then 30 year old, somewhat aged for an artist to set in motion a career to reach his current level of success, sounding not unlike the man a wider audience would come to know and love but also being a ways away from the more polished product of the last eight years. e elements are there, time and songwriting grit needed to form future diamonds. Desire and Dissolving Men oers a preview of what would come, notably the innate melodic style and sense of harmony combined with that voice, as powerful and emotional as ever, that separates Rateli from so many of his folk ilk. Hearing Desire , nine tracks

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