When we talked to Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens in May, he gave us the lowdown on his two upcoming albums, but we didn't get more than a passing glimpse of two of the tracks. While we don't generally talk about cover art reveals or preorder deals, this one is simply too good to pass up, but part of that is because it also comes packed with a full streaming copy of both albums.
The two EPs, which work in converse with each other, are called Highway Driveway and The Poquito Pioneer. Both have interesting packaging, with The Poquito Pioneer coming in a nicely crafted cassette case from Wil-Ru Records, but it's the Plastic Sound Supply release of Highway Driveway (pictured above) that really caught our attention.
The hand build, stamped and sewn release is truly an eye-pleaser -- and even better, it's available for pre-order for a mere $4.99. If physical discs aren't your thing, Stevens is selling each album for the very reasonable (and slightly random) price of $1.33 if you preorder before the July 13 release date.
Both records are a real pleasure to listen to, and if you're familiar with his work in Wentworth Stevens or George & Caplin, you'll know what to expect. That's not to say either is derivative of his collaboration work, but it's clearly sewn from the same cloth.
For its part, Highway Drive is a meandering electronic record inhabiting the space somewhere between a psychedelic freak-out in the desert and an inspiring vision quest lead by a generous but ungrateful wolf. It's a solid cohesive album that bangs along to a slightly different drum than one might expect from Stevens.
The Poquito Pioneer, in contrast, is rooted more in what you might expect from Wentworth Kersey. There's more going on here lyrically, and guitars are a bit more prevalent, but it's still not a traditional rock record by any means. "Me and the Lonesome Road," is probably one of the most upbeat tracks on the record, with a whistling track that holds the whole thing together it feels like something out of an Ennio Morricone soundtrack.
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Don't take our word for it though -- listen to both EPs right now below.