PREMIERE: Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster Communes with “The Dirt, The Bells, and I” in Perfectly Constructed Folk Single
The Water Liars singer steps out on his own.
Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster is a singer-songwriter from Oxford, Mississippi, and you’ve probably already got some ideas going in your head about what he sounds like based on those two facts alone. And you wouldn’t be totally off track, either: Kinkel-Schuster, who also plays with Water Liars, writes the kind of sturdy, literate, perfectly constructed folk songs you’d expect from a resident of a small southern college town with a strong literature department.
But “The Dirt, The Bells, and I,” from Kinkel-Schuster’s solo debut Constant Stranger, is not a creaky hymn to the joys of small-town living or an overwrought examination of some minor sublime moment. “When I die, do not mention grace / Don’t speak of the sweet by and by,” he sings. “We’ll live alone in a quiet place / The dirt, the bells, and I.” It’s a challenge presented softly but presented nonetheless, one that Kinkel-Schuster’s tired vocal delivery suggests is deeply felt. As he presents his case, his guitar unwinds in a gentle rag—his playing is almost reluctant, almost apologetic for its disruption.
We’re pleased to be premiering “The Dirt, The Bell, and I” this morning. You can give it a listen below. Additionally, Kinkel-Schuster is heading out on a house-show tour starting September 30 in Oxford. Those dates and more info are available here.
Constant Stranger track list
1. Whose Will Be Done
2. Headed South
3. False Dawn
4. Laid Low
5. Milky Cradle
6. Moccasin Bones
7. Half Broke
8. Brake Dust
9. Painting Houses
10. Shorthand Mythology
11. The Dirt, The Bells, and I
Constant Stranger is out September 30 via Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum.