We can now safely call the elliptical enigma Cass McCombs one of the great American songwriters; he’s been cranking out fascinating and intensely unique jams for the better part of two decades. Next week, McCombs will follow up 2016’s Mangy Love with the new album Tip Of The Sphere, which works as one more dive into one of our more unpredictable musical minds.
Musically, Tip Of The Sphere ranges from bluesy jam-rock to ecstatic, zoned-out acoustic folk, all of which suits McCombs’ bemused voice just fine. And as a writer, McCombs really goes left with the subjects that he tackles on Tip Of The Sphere, including a Mexican pop-music legend on “Estrella” and an obscure 19th-century heist on “The Great Pixley Train Robbery.” Those two things might not have a lot to do with each other, but McCombs has a sense of perspective that makes it all feel cohesive anyway.
Tip Of The Sphere arrives next week, and we’ve already heard the aforementioned two songs, as well as the lovely first single “Sleeping Volcanoes.” And today, thanks to the magic of the internet, we get to hear the whole album. It is worth your while to do so. Stream it at NPR.
Tip Of The Sphere is out 2/8 on Anti-. Pre-order it here.