Lean Year is the new project of singer Emilie Rex and Rick Alverson. It’s a step into a new life for Rex, who previously worked in academia, and a return for Alverson, who once played in the band Spokane but has spent the last 10 years working as a filmmaker. (His credits include music videos for Sharon Van Etten and Strand Of Oaks, as well as The Comedy, that movie James Murphy was in during his little break from LCD Soundsystem.) Together with the help of In Tall Buildings’ Erik Hall, they’ve made a debut that’s hushed throughout, sometimes possessing a fragile beauty and sometimes bleeding out into languid, strung-out passages that are almost unnerving, like there’s something sinister hiding within the quietness of it all.
Opener “Come And See” is a fitting preview of Lean Year. The whole thing barely rises above a whisper, built on guitar and drums that dustily shuffle in the backdrop while Rex’s voice gently floats above. It’s a gorgeous piece of ghostly folk-rock, like a flickering transmission coming through an old radio from a lost place and time. Listen below.
Lean Year tracklist:
01 “Come And See”
02 “Her Body In The Sky”
04 “Holy Mountain”
05 “Watch Me”
06 “Sonja Henie”
07 “Waterloo Suns”
08 “The Louder Voice”
10/20 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Purgatory)
10/22 Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
10/24 Washington, D.C. @ DC9
10/25 Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
10/26 Brooklyn, NY @ Alphaville
10/27 Toronto, ON @ The Drake
Lean Year’s self-titled debut is out 10/20 via Western Vinyl. Pre-order it here.