Ever since one of my mates (I can say mate as he is from the UK, so there) turned me onto Stripmall Ballads I have been wanting to post something over here on Slowcoustic. There is a great interview post over on You Crazy Dreamers HERE with Phillips Saylor who is the man they call Stripmall Ballads.
Not unlike his moniker, I find the music Saylor creates can have a bit of everything in an unassuming package – there is country, folk, noise, rock all mixed into a lo-fi package that really works. The one “piece of work” that I have really enjoyed is “Since Jimmy Died” which was released last year and is 10 tracks of a man singing his very heart out. Not in the sense that he can sing no longer, but in a sense that he leaves everything out there for you to ingest. Let yourself take it all in and you will realize that this tragic sounding album is one of the most beautiful things you will hear. I swear that this album breaks my heart just a little each time I listen to it and it isn’t entirely due to subject matter but the overall atmosphere the album creates. If I was more aware of the album, it would have been placed quite predominantly in my best of 2008 collection. Why he isn’t more well known is beyond me.
Saylor’s voice has just a little bit of the south peaking through, just enough cracking (or actually the straddling of a natural break between his higher and lower singing voice) to draw you in. It isn’t polished and it isn’t supposed to be. Polish wouldn’t work on Stripmall Ballads as this is one of those stripmalls in the industrial area of town that doesn’t have the flash and glitz but has everything you will ever need. I know bad analogy but this acoustic folk album is just too good for you to let slip by. Do yourself a favour and swing by and pick up a copy – to entice you, here are two stand out tracks below to get you moving.
Visit & Purchase Stripmall Ballads
p.s. You can pick up another track from Stripmall Ballads alongside another interview over on Microphone Memory Emotion Blog.