PREMIERE: Fletcher Tucker Crumbles on the Coast in “Descend”

From the forthcoming Cold Spring.

Drones are tuned vibrations. And when you stretch them out far enough, vibrations are nothing other than rhythm. That’s a musical statement that sounds like a metaphysical statement, and given that we’re talking about Fletcher Tucker, who recorded his new album Cold Spring deep in the crags of Big Sur, there’s not really any other language you can use.

“Descend,” which we’re premiering today, is taken from Cold Spring, and it feels as though it’s been hewn from the cliffside on a particularly gloomy day. Three or four separate drones form the base, but together they form more of a ring than a hum, and they rattle like bobby pins on a hardwood floor. Tucker uses these drones as a boggy floor for a song that seems loamy and sweet with decay. “The moonlight shines on my sunbleached skull,” he sings, abandoning his monotone to extend the “sun” in a skyward pinch of sound.

This is elemental, surreptitiously difficult music inspired in part by Gregorian chant, and it suggests a kind of slow-motion medievalism as seen through a deep and damp fog. Tucker’s got a bit of Jozef Van Wissem in his predilection for formal drama, but he composes with a shambolic soul that Jason Molina perfected.

Give “Descend” a listen below.


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