One of my favorite things about Carla Bozulich is her ability to so beautifully deconstruct and then reassemble various strains of roots music into something that feels both completely alien and inextricably connected to the work from which it draws influence. Her previous solo albums, Red Headed Stranger and Evangelista, were prime examples of this, with the former modernizing Willie Nelson’s classic work, and the latter reducing the minimal harmonic movement of blues/gospel songs into haunting drones augmented by Bozulich’s fervent vocals. Bozulich’s more recent albums with her band Evangelista still explored the art of deconstruction, but that project often seemed more focused on delightfully cathartic eclecticism in comparison to the focus of her solo work.
Bozulich’s forthcoming album, Boy, is another excellent foray into the realm of the deconstructed song, but where Evangelista focused on creating drone-based soundscapes out of the remnants of song forms, Boy focuses on generating hypnotic grooves that subtly allow melodies to drift off into weirder territories at any moment. “Lazy Crossbones” is a particularly great example of Boy’s aesthetic. The track is reminiscent of the more rhythmic moments on Talk Talk’s later records, and like those albums, “Lazy Crossbones” embeds its formal deconstruction into the song structure itself. On the surface, “Lazy Crossbones” may seem fairly straightforward, but listen closely and you can hear Bozulich’s consistently incredible voice being used as a catalyst for the song to be taken into new sonic territories. It’s a great example of how Bozulich’s ability to re-contextualize has grown even more streamlined and synthesized with her recent work.
Boy will be out March 4 via Constellation. Listen to “Lazy Crossbones” below: