Curtis McMurtry – ‘The Pollen & The Rot’

Austin-based artist Curtis McMurtry unleashes a gripping sound on his new album The Pollen & The Rot, melding folk and Americana intrigue — enthralling from the twangy orchestral expanse of “You-niverse” to murkier folk fascinations like “Don’t Be Surprised.” The album represents the first of four upcoming albums from McMurtry that take inspiration from the seasons; this release explores springtime. “If springtime were a group of people, they would be impatient, horny and brutal,” McMurtry explains, hinting at the characters apparent in the songs ahead — from the greed-filled monster within “Last in Line” to the battle against close-mindedness within “You-niverse.”

A range of highlights show throughout the album. “You-niverse” is among them, enamoring with its laid-back jazzy guitar breezes and slight percussion. “Free yourself,” a multi-layered vocal warmness begins, as string-laden flourishes send chills alongside; the track is exemplary of McMurty’s knack for melodically gripping structural developments, spanning from folk-set introspection to orchestral-laden expanses. “Last in Line” also dazzles in its string infusions, though set against a more deliciously ominous intrigue. “Everything I desire painted gold,” and other ruminations on want/desire resonate within ardent vocal enjoinments and a southern-rock intrigue.

The album’s 14 tracks engage in their various personalities, accomplishing such in concise form; many of the tracks span two or three minutes. “Don’t Be Surprised” shows a Tom Waits-esque wooziness, while finale “In the Dirt” struts a nocturnal folk soundscape within cricket-chirping and somber string infusions. The Pollen & The Rot delivers a consistent realm of quality songwriting from Curtis McMurtry.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.