Best Albums of 2019: Ohio ‘Upward, Broken, Always’

Upward, Broken, Always (12k Records)

Upward, Broken, Always is a hazy, warm and evocative journey back to the childhood homes of Americans Taylor Deupree and Corey Fuller, who formed a new duo to create this fresh and free-flowing mix of neo-folk, post-rock and lo-fi ambient adventuring. The album is like a patchwork quilt of textures and colours, sometimes coalescing into the form of songs or song-like progressions, a few with soft vocals, but most without. “Aperos” feels like a tentative ambient rock jam that segues ever so subtly into an expanding wall of environmental noise. “Frere” is feather-soft acoustic guitar arpeggios with brief vocals and some choral-like tones. There’s also a cover of neo-folkster Damien Jurado’s song “Ohio”. It’s highly tonal stuff with some lovely chord progressions, and in that respect it’s something of a departure for 12k label founder Deupree, a step away from the more obviously experimental and minimalist fare he’s usually associated with. The innovation is more in the duo’s brilliant and original textural combinations, which add a thin veil of dreamy strangeness to the whole affair.

Best Albums of 2019 Reviews Index

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