"Drown" by Son Volt, 1995

Sunday, February 16, 2014

(Got the year right again. This one's especially easy because I know this record's promotional copies went out the summer of 1995 when I was an intern at Mammoth Records' New York publicity office. Son Volt weren't a Mammoth act, but publicists and PR people send each other promo copies pretty regularly, and one of the two paid people in the office, the head of press then for Mammoth, had this LP in the regular office rotation. It got under my skin.)

This was my first exposure to "no depression," the genre, sometimes called alt country, and from here I got my hands on every Uncle Tupelo LP, Wilco, and then some. (I even started an alt country band the second I finished college. We weren't half bad.) But Jay Farrar has always been the best this bunch has to offer. His work with UT is their best work. His post-UT band Son Volt, though nowhere near as successful as Wilco, was to me far more compelling, and his solo LPs are more challenging, more interesting, and more important (sorry) than anything else in this paragraph.

"Drown" was the single off Son Volt's first LP Trace. I don't think it's the best song on that LP, and I don't know why it made this top-100 list instead of "Windfall," for example, which has a much stronger significance in my mind on a personal level. The only real memory I have of "Drown," aside from its obvious rockingness, is when my then-girlfriend and then-drummer decided that it sounds like Everclear, making me hate them both for at least one evening.