words by Jacob Zlomke
Tim Kasher seeks his Great American Novel, or so he sings in "American Lit," the opening track of forthcoming solo album Adult Film, due out on Saddle Creek Records on Oct. 8.
“We are great Americans, our novels need to be written / So what if they end up microfiche, at least they landed in the annals of our libraries.”
Yes, Kasher might be employing a bit of the time-honored sarcasm he's developed over his discography, more than a dozen albums in. Adult Film marks his second solo record after 2010's The Game of Monogamy, and the Omaha musician's work in The Good Life and Cursive comprises the rest of his output since the late-1990s, among numerous guest appearances.
Like the first line of a book, the opening moments of a film, and like the first track on both Cursive's The Ugly Organ and The Good Life's Album of the Year, Kasher teaches the listener how to read, what to expect from the album on his first track: He will jump between sarcasm and sincerity, and he’s taking it seriously.
Moving forward then, the album is ambitious and flourishing orchestral sections without being bombastic. Kasher’s lyrical work is sharp and delivered with a hefty sampling of dry wit: “Keep writing, keep writing, even if inside you’re dying,” he lectures on penultimate track, “A Looping Distress Signal.”
The enduring subject matter of every Kasher album is present: difficulties of happiness, especially in relation to art, aging and heartbreak.
He’s playing with the same pieces he’s had since Cursive’s 2000 album Domestica, but he’s rearranged them again to build something different in an effort to leave his novel deep in the annals of our internal libraries. Or so he sings.
The album drops this Tuesday, but you can stream it here. Also see Kasher live this Saturday at The Waiting Room Lounge as he kicks off a month-and-a-half-long tour:
Jacob Zlomke is Hear Nebraska's editorial intern. Want to go microfiche-ing this weekend? Reach Jacob at firstname.lastname@example.org.