Vinyl Vlog 552

Vinyl Vlog 552

Wednesday, 01 June 2022

Steve Gunn
Other You

Few albums in the past few years have made the impact on me that Other You has. Part of it has to do with the fact that I just wasn’t expecting it. It’s not exactly a smash hit album, so my expectations weren’t set (i.e. I hadn’t been jaded yet by public opinion), so I wasn’t expecting to fall in love. Most of why I’m impressed by this album is that I didn’t know I needed it. Other You is an absolute beauty of an album that contains multitudes. It’s everything in a neat little package. Even the title “Other You” has layers of meaning as it represents Gunn singing over a pitch-shifted playback of his vocals to find the right notes: there was an “other him” that was better than him and he was trying to become that person.

Other You isn’t an album that you absorb, because it’s instantly warm, cozy, and familiar. It’s an album that you submerge yourself into. You take a bath in this album. There are 11 ideas here that somehow merge together into a consistent 50 minute sound. What you get in Other You are symphonies, ballads, folk songs, meditations, and downright celestial-sounding expressions. There is not a moment here that isn’t a gorgeous soundscape of guitars, harmonies, synthesizers, or vocals that function to immerse the listener. It’s also impossible to nail down the tone of this record. It’s sad, sweet, tender, funny, hopeful, playful, and intense all at once. It carries all emotions, and does so much in songs that are deceptively simple sounding in their craft.

You shouldn’t be bogged down by formats when approaching an album like this, but we’re going to argue for the vinyl version, because that’s what we do, because it’s becoming an unsustainable format that might become inaccessible to independent artist, and because, of course, it sounds oh-so sweet. The Other You vinyl release comes in a clear sky version or black vinyl (both still available). The double records are housed in full color sleeves with art all over. It’s a beautiful package for such a beautiful record.

With Other You, Steve Gunn has made the record most artist hope to make, but never do. It sounds unlike anything else (does anyone sound like Steve Gunn?), it taps into the deepest human emotions, it takes a hold, lifts us up, and makes you happy to be alive. It also manages to be cool while it’s doing it. An absolutely stellar record.

Get your copy from Matador Records.

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