| 9. Tip of the Sphere by Cass McCombs |
There are 9 days remaining in the tumultuous year of 2020 so we thought we would countdown and share with you some of the items and ideas we would put in our time capsule. For us they straddle the very specific space of the timely with the timeless; sometimes sublimely anachronistic, fundamentally classic, and are reflective of a value system we hold true to.
As if gazing into a time orb in a parallel universe, the recent full-length album, Tip of the Sphere by Cass McCombs, recorded prior to this year, was 365 days ahead of what was to come into our consciousness.
Tip of the Sphere recounts what has unfolded in the wake of Mangy Love’s pre-inaugural prophetic themes. It presents an artist trying to make sense of it all through a relentless, ever searching creative process. Throughout Tip of the Sphere, McCombs floats through a suite of songs driven by a journeying mysticism and dark grace. The thematic centerpiece of the album, “Sleeping Volcanoes,” is a rousing, rock and roll number that uses a distinct lyrical approach to intensify the narrative. On the main refrain, a key phrase of the song is repeated continuously and taken through its possible meanings, almost like a jazz musician repeating a musical phrase through key and chord changes. As described by McCombs, “Sleeping Volcanoes” is about “people passing each other on the sidewalk unaware of the emotional volatility they are brushing past, like a sleeping volcano that could erupt at any moment.”