John Craigie’s latest full length, Scarecrow, is tailor-made for record players. And not just in the sense that this intended as a vinyl-only release (which it was). But more importantly, all that pretentious shit your music geek friends go on and on about the “warmth of the sound,” the tradition of placing the vinyl on the player, lowering the arm and just sitting back and listening to the songs roll out… eye roll triggering as it is, that’s all true and this is the perfect album to prove it.
Of the 10 songs here, most were written for last year’s No Rain, No Rose but were cut because they just didn’t fit the vibe. All of these tracks are slower, but no less worthy of release. The album, taken as a whole is devastatingly beautiful. Craigie’s earnest vocals paired with little more than an acoustic guitar is melancholy songwriting at its best. The song order is perfect and just another reason why this album should be enjoyed on vinyl, listening to each one come out in the proper order.
Craigie says he called the record Scarecrow, because these “are songs that are out alone in a field.” That’s pretty damn bleak, but also a solidly apt descriptor. And lest you think Craigie is the patron saint of Sad Bastards everywhere, just check out his live albums; he may just be the funniest guy to ever hold a guitar.
Scarecrow, a completely analog album, was recorded live to a 2-inch tape, mastered to tape, and cut straight to be pressed to vinyl. Though Craigie ultimately relented to the request of fans and released the album via download as well.