“The songs on this album don’t come with a lot of resolution,” says Brian Dunne. “As a writer, your instinct can be to try and wrap things up in neat little bows and promise everybody that everything’s going to be alright, but that just didn’t feel real to me.”
Instead, Dunne’s poignant new album, ‘Selling Things,’ faces down doubt and disappointment head on, learning to make peace with uncertainty and find catharsis in acceptance. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer/mixer/engineer Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Caroline Rose), the collection is a dark and dreamy meditation on the nature of fulfillment, one that balances the personal and political as it contemplates an impending apocalypse that feels more literal and less metaphorical with each passing day. Dunne writes with a cinematic eye for detail here, offering up fully fleshed out character studies and immersive vignettes that capture the kind of small, seemingly inconsequential moments that only later reveal their profound and lasting impacts. It’s an approach that calls to mind everything from Jackson Browne and Tom Waits to Jonathan Richman and Chrissie Hynde, and the result is a blend of black humor and probing introspection that sounds at once vintage and modern, familiar and foreign, hopeful and fatalistic.
“When I was growing up, my dad had all these cassette tapes that we’d listen to in the car,” says Dunne. “We never had air conditioning, though, so the tapes would start to melt and get this creepy, warbly sound, which I thought about a lot when I was recording this album. I wanted to make something that felt like those cassettes, something that was equal parts exciting and mysterious and a little bit scary, because that’s what it feels like to be alive right now.”
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