Notes Left Out

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Knotworking consists of singer/songwriter/guitarist Edward Gorch and a revolving circle of musically inclined friends from his adopted hometown of Albany, NY, though given the spare, understated approach and consistently strong material on the album Notes Left Out, it appears Gorch doesn't need a great deal of help from others. Gorch's songs seem to travel the same long, lonely road as Will Oldham, Richard Buckner, and Souled American, though Gorch's simple but evocative melodies and literate, well-detailed lyrics make it clear he's found his own distinct voice as a songwriter; and his ability to write with equal passion and emotional impact about themes both personal ("Not Bigger," "Last Went First") and political ("Lawn Plastic Santa," "Manuel") reveals an encouraging broad thematic palate. Most of Notes Left Out was recorded in Gorch's attic on a four-track tape machine he rescued from the trash, and while the production is low-tech, it's also clean, well-recorded, and serves the material quite well -- and "Imbecile Smile" and "Came to Save" show that he also knows what to do with the dynamics of a full rock band as well as the smaller ensembles which dominate the album. Notes Left Out may be modest in its means, but it's rich in fine songs and memorable performances, and makes clear that Edward Gorch and company are artists to watch.

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