If you’re identifying the hallmarks of a McCarthy Trenching album, or any of singer/songwriter Dan McCarthy and bassist James Maakestad’s body of work, the narrative plane tends to slope somewhere between charming and clever. But those are broad strokes, and taken as the end-all description, misses the crisp detail, nuance and often heavy artistic weight behind the songs.
More Like It, the Omaha folk duo’s fifth album, is an at-times sentimental, at times biting display of that richness. Tender tracks like “Christmas 1974” live nearby clever strikes like “Mean Things On My Mind.” It’s there instrumentally too, with McCarthy and Maakestad often taking different, meandering routes to the same conclusions.
McCarthy Trenching releases the record November 6, celebrating Friday at O’Leaver’s with Bud Heavy and the High Lifes (RSVP here), as well as the night before at Zoo Bar with Mike Semrad and Kerry Eddy & the Current Situation (RSVP here).
How does the album fit in with the rest of the McCarthy Trenching catalogue? Listen as our On The Record podcast team reviews More Like It, out November 6 on Sower Records.
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Recent On The Record episodes review Anna McClellan, The Good Life, Desaparecidos, Digital Leather, Big Harp and more. Listen to all the past episodes below.