Cass McCombs - County Line
I drove home through the flashing neon lights, each one crawling down the brick, sliding across the fresh wet streets, and up in through the windows. I saw your ghost in every passerby. I watched you laugh with your friends; I watched you look bored and sad as you waited for a bus. I heard you in the sound of the wind, seeping in from the outside world.
I was first turned on to Californian singer-songwriter Cass McCombs through his video for “You Saved My Life”. Being a bit of a recording nerd, I was instantly struck by the sound of the snare. I think I’m an especially big recording nerd when it comes to the sound of any snare. Regardless, the song continues to be one of my favourites, and upon the first hearing of his new single, I knew that Mr. McCombs would become an artist that I continually come back to, and be continually impressed by.
“County Line” is one of the smoothest, soulful, and most heartbreaking songs I’ve ever heard. ”You never even tried to love me/What did I have to do to make you want me?” That lyric alone could break anyone. The simple honesty in this song comes through in a few different ways; the arrangement itself is a bare bones, simple collection of melodies. But in that simplicity, the honest truth of the song, the bare bones emotion come through completely unharmed. The song doesn’t get in the way of itself. It just is what it is, a beautiful plea.
Wit’s End, Cass McCombs’ new record, comes out tomorrow.