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29 July 2017

Home Blitz - 'Foremost & Fair' (Richie)

How an artist progresses in just a few years! The first clue is the cover, where typeface and drawing indicate this will should sound like a Fairport Convention spinoff, though that's a bit of an oversell. At first it's a total red herring (though in the keyboard and harpsichord bits initially heard, especially during 'I'm That Key', there's certainly some influence of more regal, courtly music than before) but then side two's 'Tell Me There' appears and we are in some sort of bizarro New Jersey-Shirley Collins hybrid; where power pop meets ragged bedroom punk and British folk too! Another clue is the voice - Mr. DiMaggio has raised his pitch even higher, or at least is breathing harder behind it. When you focus on the tone of his beautiful yelp-croon, his debt to Scott Miller is even more obvious than before. 'The Hall' has an organ crunch which feels like way more than a one-man recording; it's somehow one of the best Home Blitz songs ever, even if it's hidden at the end of side 1. 'Downtown' breaks into a musique-concrete based bridge over which he pontificates in the most 'Watch Who You're Calling Space Garbage Meteor Mouth' manner possible, and otherwise it's maybe all in the affect, but it's a hell of a method I must admit. And then there's 'Why It Cries', the moment of total free-from experimentation that harkens back more to DiMaggio's other band Car Commericals, or to that one time I was left unsupervised in a music instrument shop that focused on medieval instruments. It's a great expanse of space, which would be described as 'fucking around' to the uninitiated, but it's a vision of existence committed to vinyl, and then erupting in a bit of a jig. Thank god for the ability to hear so much music these days; I keep recalling that collection of Jonathan Lethem essays called The Ecstasy of Influence, which is a great title to describe music like this. It's not like no one ever synthesised different influences in the past, but it feels so much more open these days, which isn't to diminish the marvellous leftfield accessibility of Foremost & Fair - just that it's a bit less of a headscratcher when a young musician can discover so much out there via digital means. I guess what really matters is the curiosity, which is here in spades. I can't wait to hear what he'll do next, if he's still active, that is. 

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