Golden Apples of the West

Blaine Todd

Balancing out our winter batch is the latest release from Blaine Todd. Since debuting on the label back in 2015 with Dillingham, Blaine has become something of a staple on the Full Spectrum roster, performing alongside Andrew Weathers as part of the Real Life Rock & Roll Band, Common Eider, King Eider and the AW Ensemble.

Recorded in the midst of preparations to move to New York City – Blaine’s first time living outside of California – Golden Apples Of The West is a meditation of sorts on the Golden State and his personal history there. It’s telling, then, that Blaine’s songwriting on this album comes across like a cross-hybrid between Sparklehorse (RIP) and Nocturnal Poisoning; all fucked country and burnt desert blues.

The tape’s eponymous opener is a nice bit of sleight of hand, baiting the audience with a slice of sun-dappled folk before plunging headlong into the slow-burn psychedelia of “Until The Geese Return.” From there, Blaine dives ever deeper into the void, plumbing the depths of personal reflection as he makes peace with his past in preparation for the journey eastward.

Imbued with the pastoral hues of folk and country music's long lineages, these songs seem to exist outside of time, outside of any measurable chronology. Nooga this tape progresses the atmosphere gets gradually and appealingly more fucked. The Vinyl District