Among the few GB of new tunes I recently acquired from my coeditor is Life and Death of an American Fourtracker by the improbably named John Vanderslice (can anyone tell me whether that’s his real name?). It was released in 2002, I believe, so it’s not really new, but it sounds fresh to me, and that’s what matters. It’s also definitely not a four-track recording, but it’s straightforward nonetheless, and again, gentle but with enough oomph to keep me from dismissing him as a precious hipster sissy (I’m looking at you, Sufjan). He’s kindly posted mp3s on his website, so I’m linking to “The Mansion,” my favorite track of his so far.

mp3: The Mansion

I like how it coaxes you in with nice tinkly piano and acoustic guitars, then whomps you over the head with booming drums and blaring horns. I was bobbing my head to it at work all day (in between periodic breakdowns of my iPod).