Jackson Scott, Melbourne
An extremely remarkable bedroom-pop album
Jackson Scott is a 20-year-old from Asheville, North Carolina, who has done something unremarkable: He has made a bedroom-pop album, one he wrote and recorded by himself in a fit of restless creativity and a haze of boredom. Not much to see here: 20-year-olds with guitars and free time do this all the time, like spawning salmon.
But he’s made a really good one, which is extremely remarkable. Scott has claimed Syd Barrett as his hero, and added that he doesn’t really care about indie rock. But these stylistic footnotes don’t really matter to the serenely untroubled album: His little psych-pop songs stretch like cats in the sun, curl at the edge like July linoleum, unconcerned with time and space. His vocals clang around the four-track space, tangling with the sour-tuned guitars, and hang on a few chord changes in a fidgety way that would be hard to duplicate with notes on staff paper: “Together Forever” has a chiming guitar figure that has the comforting drowsiness of Built to Spill, and Scott sighs into it repeatedly. The song makes a blurry, blobby pleasing shape in your head, as do the other 11. The catchy simple “Any Way” is almost maddeningly perfect, while “Tomorrow” worries away at a two-note riff like a joggling leg under a desk. They have the squiggly lines and unforced appeal of something doodled in study hall.