About two weeks ago, I wrote about singer/songwriter Adam Busch and “Tiger” the latest single from his recently released and long-awaited full-length debut, River of Bricks. Busch is probably best known for stints as the frontman and primary songwriter of art rock acts The Curious Digit, Manishevitz and Sonoi over the past two decades. As the story goes, Busch began writing the material on River of Bricks while on a paternal leave focused hiatus to raise and spend time with his newborn son.
And although Busch intended the hiatus to be about the domestic life, the time away wound up becoming an opportunity to try out new ideas without the pressure of having to produce material for an entire ensemble — and I would also presume that it allowed him an opportunity to create something carte blanche, without the pressure of having to write a song with a band’s established reputation for a particular sound or approach in mind. Interestingly, many of the songs on the album emerged while Busch was studying guitar with with African music scholar Nathaniel Braddock, who taught Busch a variety of finger styles including African, American Primitive, as well as British folk.
Recording began during the Spring of 2013 in Chicago and continued in Phoenix with Busch’s longtime collaborator and Boxhead Ensemble founder Michael Krassner, and features contributions from several members of Manishevtiz, as well as percussion from Joe Adamik, who’s best known for his work with Califone and Iron and Wine; guitar, bass and keyboards from Wil Hendricks of Boxhead Ensemble; cellist Fred Longberg-Holm; and Justin Amolsch on French horn. River of Bricks‘ latest single “Tiger” is comprised of a rather stark arrangement of drums and Busch accompanying his vocals with guitar. Sonically, the single sounds as though it were informed by Arabic music, psychedelia and jazz in a song that’s intimate and seems inspired by lonely contemplation of life’s eternally confounding mysteries. And as a result, the song has a hushed yet palpable feeling of awe and reverence paired with deeply imagistic lyrics. Simply put, it’s an effortlessly beautiful song that strikes me as being perfect for wandering around on a chilly but gorgeous Fall day.
The recently released official video was produced by Jake Blanchard, who was also responsible for the album’s artwork — and the video employs the use of both animation and live action video. The video was shot in and around a local church in Blanchard’s homeroom of Todmorden, UK where Blanchard hosts experimental music shows. And the video focuses on delusion, depicted by the half man/half tiger, who believes that he has been called to preach. After getting kicked out of church and beaten up by a group of shady buffalo men, the tiger recedes into his own delusions and fantasies and it’s depicted by his world turning into brilliant and colorful animation. It’s both beautiful and surreal — while pointing out how powerful and dangerous delusion can be to one’s soul.