One of the most original and compelling groups I know playing some amazing compositions that seem to tread effortlessly between Van Dyke Parks and folk music from an as yet unidentified culture, while making all the things you’ve always thought of as difficult sound as effortless and natural as breathing…Amazing production. Extraordinary compositions. You need to hear it.
Each of these compositions is a magnificent example of how truly “progressive” music can bridge musical gaps and expand its audience. Even though these seven songs unfurl over 45 anxious and dramatic minutes, the album still feels too short. It also feels like a candidate for record of the year.
–Michael Popke / Shepherd Express
Jack O’ The Clock’s Leaving California is a highly-detailed musical adventure that reveals new layers with repeated listens, from the opening strums of “Jubilation,” which introduces the record with whimsical folksy fanfare, to the angular harmonized violin lead on the closing track, “Narrow Gate.” Throughout, the songs of bandleader Damon Waitkus recall artists such as David Sylvian, Fairport Convention, and Elliott Smith, while creative musical arrangements showcase the band’s high-level compositional and instrumental chops. Upon first listen, Leaving California offers plenty of hooks, but this is music that truly reveals its depth upon the scrutiny of repeated spins.
The band have referred to themselves as ‘majestic junk folk’ and that’s a pretty funny but not inaccurate description for a band who blend folk music and experimental music together in a unique way.
It’s like hearing some of my favourite ‘Old Timey’ fiddle and guitar records…updated with compositional ideas worthy of a Stockhausen or a Boulez.
–The Sound Projector
Damon Waitkus – vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, keyboards, hammer dulcimer, etc
Emily Packard – violin
Jason Hoopes – bass
Jordan Glenn – drums
Thea Kelley – vocals
Ivor Holloway – clarinet on track 3 and saxophones on track 7
Josh Packard – cello on track 4
Myles Boisen – pedal steel on track 5
Produced, recorded, and mixed by Damon Waitkus in Alameda and Oakland, CA and at Orchard Hill Studio, Brattleboro, VT, 2018–2020.
Mastered by Myles Boisen.
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