AGRARIANS - Married Life Masters

Agrarians - Married Life Masters

11 songs
41:18 minutes
***** ****
(DIY)

Bandpage

Married Life Masters is already the seventh album I have the honour to review by Baltimore, Maryland indie lo-fi folksters The Agrarians. Not bad, considering that I have known them only for a year! In fact there are three kinds of Agrarians releases. The ones I like most are the split releases where their meandering tunes are counteracted by other artists’ visions. Then there are the long epics that use all the space of a CD to help you really get lost inside their art, and finally there’s the more accessible side which is showcased on this album, for instance. Eleven songs that are never too long, and a regular running time that make sure to keep your attention span heightened. From a musical point of view, there is nothing really new. This time, the only outside interference comes from the cover artwork which has been drawn by Allison Perzinski, wife of Matt Perzinski who’s in charge of the recording.

It’s nice how subtle he swerves from acoustic singer/songwriter themes to adding discreetly other instruments (electric guitar, bass guitar,…) to make a slightly fuller sound that at every moment threatens to turn back to its simplicity. This helps to make Married Life Masters more than just cryptic lyrics put upon quiet acoustic guitar patterns. The production is basic, but works perfectly for this kind of music. The title track even manages to capture your attention with its catchy recurring vocal theme. The lyrics are hard to decipher, there is Catholic imagery, not that surprising considering the origins of the State they come from.

For those familiar with the Agrarians, there are certainly some things that sound familiar here, which is not surprising after releasing so much music in only one year, but somehow this entity still keeps a mesmerising quality that lies somewhere between the naivety of a Daniel Johnston and the ADHD production rhythm of a Robert Pollard. If you like these two artists, you should certainly start your relationship with the Agrarians here, especially since the modern pricing scheme allows you to pay whatever you like for this album.

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