Cass McCombs: A Folk Set Apart review – goodie bag of B-sides and rarities


The idea of music as rare is increasingly difficult to fathom in the age of YouTube. And yet, in the functional absence of vinyl singles, certain artists still seem to put out tour-only, limited-edition split singles with other bands. No spring chicken, itinerant guy-with-guitar Cass McCombs has had a while in which to amass these offcuts and collaborations, five of which are previously unreleased; the other 14, which cover an 11-year period, are just hard to get hold of. You might argue that McCombs’s albums are idiosyncratic and varied affairs, and so it is here. But not so you’d complain. The pointed, poignant Bradley Manning makes like Neil Young; Twins is a kaleidoscopic, fully realised song whose bleak chorus – “you lied to me” – belies the lushness around it; AYD is a scruffy punk number.


Kitty Empire

The GuardianTramp

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