Canada’s duo Old Time Machine began at an art show themed around the dark days of winter experienced in their home of Yukon. After meeting in a fort made of boxes, scrap lumber, bed sheets, and chicken-wire,Ryan McNally and Kyle Cashen began collaborating. With a handful of songs and a mountain of stringed instruments, analog machines and effects, drums, and mics between them, the two began combining traditional sounding folk structures with ghostly harmonies and vintage electronics. Like the patchwork-style fort they met in, Old Time Machine creates an atmostphere of pots clanging, creaking wood floors, and the buzz of insects at midnight. This is the sonic atmosphere created by the end of the album. The moonshine-fueled, porch-stomping lullaby “Doin’ All I Can“, with sections that sound like they’re filtered through a 1930’s AM radio broadcast. “Feel So Cold” adds an icy tone with distant back-up melodies to accompany the string-y banjo and slow industrial rhythm, while McNally‘s vocals fill the room with their gravelly gloom. The last track, “Tearing Me Down“, begins with insistent mandolin strum and a simple, pulsing beat. The chorus has McNally sounding on edge until the song ends, and we are left with a hopeful curiosity, returning from a long night in the backwoods of Yukon.
RIYL: Tom Waits, The Barr Brothers, Local Natives, The Low Anthem
Recommended Tracks: track #2 “Doin’ All I Can Do“, track #3 “Pouring Rain“, track #6 “Feel So Cold“, track #9 “Tearing Me Down“
Label: File Under: Music