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Buck Meek: Two Saviors review – too laid-back for his own good

Phil Mongredien
·1-min read

After releasing two excellent albums, UFOF and Two Hands, with Big Thief in 2019, the New York-based indie-folkers’ core duo have since concentrated on their solo careers. Frontwoman Adrianne Lenker’s companion sets Songs and Instrumentals came out simultaneously in October, and guitarist Buck Meek now follows suit with a second LP under his own name.

Recorded in New Orleans during a heatwave, Two Saviors has a wonderfully loose feel. Meek’s gently enunciated vocals, delivered with all the urgency of Kurt Vile awaking from a nap, are backed by a band that knows how to keep it simple, Mat Davidson’s pedal steel and organ from Meek’s brother Dylan giving proceedings a timeless country feel.

This lack of immediacy is a double-edged sword, however: too often the songs are so laid-back that they slide out of focus. Even the relatively raucous Ham on White fails to snag the attention. Meek’s gossamer-light vocal style is part of the problem, making it hard to invest too much in his tales of vaguely defined loss. So when, on Pocketknife, he sings, “Saw a murder”, the words leap out and your ears prick up, only for him to add, with his next breath, “of crows move by” and puncture the drama.