Red Jacket Mine – Lovers Lookout

January 01, 1970



The Northwest’s gonna rise again. Though Seattle and the NW
region in general no longer generates the same level of excitement it sustained
for a good while in the aftermath of the Nirvana goldrush – the Internet, with
all its unfolding egalitarianism, ensured that practically any regional scene could
enjoy its fifteen minutes or more, A&R hysteria and press hype be damned –
there are always little breakthrough moments we indie rock aficionados look
(listen) for. One such moment arrives with Seattle’s
Red Jacket Mine, whose second full-length is bursting at the digital seams with
pristine pop and luminous blue-eyed soul, with hints of psychedelia and Americana lining the


Did someone just mention pop? Right from the get-go, Lovers Lookout is aglow: “Stay Golden”
chugs along on a rich bed of guitar jangles and organ hums, while just two
songs later, on “Childish Things,” the band builds up a jubilant head of
powerpop steam that’ll have you reaching for your dB’s and Big Star (hold that
thought) records. On the latter track, guest Eyvind Kang also adds a striking,
almost cinematic, string motif. And soul? The band dips a foot into Memphis and Muscle Shoals
territory via “Such An Easy Thing,” an organ-driven slice of R&B brimming
with passion thanks to songwriter Lincoln Barr’s smooth yet vulnerable warble.
Likewise, “Apricot Moon” is a smoky waltztime ballad with soaring vocal
harmonies and Kang’s strings again lending an uncommon dramatic heft; another
guest, Ian Moore, unleashes some appropriately bluesy guitar licks as well. And
everything coalesces wonderfully with “The Pose,” a shimmering, thrumming
marriage of Brit-pop and vintage college rock, sophisticated in tone yet with a
raw, primal edge.


As produced by Ken Stringfellow, Lovers Lookout has instant cover-sticker cachet – and Posies/Big
Star/R.E.M. fans will surely find the four young men of Red Jacket Mine to be
kindred spirits – but the bottom line is that these guys have the kind of songs
and chops that will weather any level of scrutiny. Come on up for the rising.


Standout Tracks: “The
Pose,” “Apricot Moon,” “Childish Things” FRED MILLS


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