There’s something inherently transportive about the sound of a pedal steel (or lap steel) guitar. It sounds far more like a nasal, but full-bodied vocal line than a guitar, and with a splash of reverb, it gets downright angelic.
At first, when thinking about, we were tempted to say how unfortunate it was that its palette hadn’t graced more popular music. But thankfully we realized that we’re actually seeing it in more places than we used to, and today, Nashville’s Jack Binkerd brings that steely grace to math rock and midwest emo.
Well, technically they come from his steel-pedal player, Michael Harrington. But the instrumentation actually makes a lot of sense, as there is a healthy amount of related mechanics when it comes to bluegrass and country vs. math rock and prog, from the emphasis of certain clean tones to heavily-incorporated finger style ballads. They’re all here on the band’s newest EP, Every Day.
Here’s a tissue, partner – just check out the winding, choral sounds of “Jackson” and the below. You’re welcome.
While very much related to the Clever Girl and Cuzco flavor of Midwest emo, the pedal steel and friendly yet authoritative vocals add a nearly Southern flair to it, and the overall effects are superb.
These traits also establish that the band stands as something fairly novel while fitting in comfortably with formidable peers – remember, this ain’t Jack Binkerd’s first rodeo. The literally band a dropped similarly charged EP about a week ago called Golden Mercury, which has some groovy, roots-y elements lying in wait, but Every Day has a slightly more succinct vision, and gets right to the punch.
Both are great, but if you’re looking for something subtly special yet easy to grasp, Every Day taps into a niche rich with potential in what normally feels like a wasteland… traditional math rock. Kick off your weekend with Every Day, and ask yourself why it can’t be like Every Day every day. Today.
Check out more from Jack Binkerd here.We were super close to making an article a while ago about the explicit crossovers between country and midwest emo… but we’ll save it for another time! For now we need to make sure this Trust Fund Ozu record gets the hype it deserves, which you can check out here when it’s done. Buy us a coffee here if you want, and if not that’s okay! Thanks for reading!