Cass McCombs

Tip of The Sphere

[ANTI-; 2019]

Rating: 4.5/5

Dear Cass,
How are you? I’ve been meaning to get in touch. I only know you from your songs, which I guess is less and more than anything else. I’ve been listening to Tip of The Sphere every day for a few weeks now, and, like the other records, its magic is revealed in increments. I’ve often thought of song as a sort of channeling, a ghostly union with eternal spirit, with disincarnate character-elementals. But when I listen to an album from another angle, an equal impression is revealed: an architecture that is, while spiritual, also a plain labor. Maybe that should have been obvious from the beginning; it’s been a while since I played music, and one can forget the physicality of the practice.
In the craft of the song is the revelation of the song’s eternity? These things, the ineffable temper of the song (of the poem or the film, &c) and the earthly made-ness of the art, are the same. But that’s like “of course.” Is this so of any labor? It’s a curse to say anything isn’t capable of being an altar. We aren’t just working for nothing. Well, OK, it usually feels that way. Thus, the pursuit of “truth” begins.
But maybe that’s all neither here nor there. It’s music — let it play. I was in Poictesme in the summer of 2016, when I was supposed to write a response to Mangy Love. I had thought of doing something kind of like what I’m doing

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