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Scout Gillett

Scout Gillett celebrates her former hometown with “Kansas City" and travels to many other cities in March and April

If you’re at all familiar with the parties involved you’ll understand why it makes good sense for Scout Gillett to record an acoustic cover version of Beach House’s “Take Care” seeing as Scout’s own music likewise occupies a liminal space between elegiac and ecstatic like a loud whisper emanating from outer space—all hazy, lush atmospherics and mystical slow-motion melodies building to slow crescendos over weeping lap steel guitars and stately, undulating rhythms that bloom suddenly into walls-of-pollenated-sound—except that Gillett & Co. take the dream pop template and port it over to a postpunk-meets-Americana format (a.k.a. metronomic-austerity-and-hypnotically droney-textures meets tenor-banjo pickin’-and-high -lonesome-yodelin’) which is a new genre they seemingly invented themselves in a shotgun marriage between Sturm-und-Drang and strum-and-twang…

…which is something she did recently and posted on her Patreon account not to mention a rendition of Lieber and Stoller’s “Kansas City” as made famous by Wilbert Harrison and later by The Beatles posted even more recently on the page and wouldn’t it be a nice birthday surprise to subscribe to Scout’s Patreon account (it was yesterday but I’m sure she accepts late gifts!) and you get a present too cuz you get access to a bunch of “cool content” (as the kids say!) all for nothing more than 5 bones per month if you get a “bottom” subscription or if you’re more of a dom type you can splurge for a “top” account and get a free zine alongside intimate journal entries and a treasure map all for a mere double sawbuck per month…

…which is a fitting choice of cover repertoire for someone who once lived in Kansas City like Gillett did, that is, after departing the Badlands of rural Missouri whereupon she immersed herself in KC’s punk scene and chief among the reasons for appreciating this lovely lo-fi bluesy hootenanny version of the song recorded live to four-track with some of Scout’s regular co-conspirators is how clearly her lover comes through for the thick-and-tangy, sauce-stained jazz and blues Mecca—not to mention the city that brought us Puddle of Mudd—or as she put it a few days ago in a highly exclusive online forum: “I have so much love and respect for Kansas City. As I’ve grown older and continued finding myself, I’ve realized and appreciated how my hometown and friends there have shaped & defined me” even after some years spent in the Badlands of Brooklyn

…a city-boosting sentiment that extends to Gillett’s inaugural LP no roof no floor (Captured Tracks)—an album recorded at the Chicken Shack in Stanfordville, New York in a barn with Scout gazing up at the stars on clear nights as she laid down her vocal parts—which she’s stated was inspired in part by being “homesick for a home that no longer seem[s] to exist” with Kansas City and Missouri having been ravaged in the intervening years by economic hardship and the opioid crisis in particular and it’s not too hard to imagine a 21st-century variation on Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen driving in the dead of night from Lincoln, Nebraska to Kansas City, Missouri with no roof no floor playing on the tape deck of their beat up Ford after killing her dad and going on the lamb which is not to romanticize mass murder of course not the horrors perpetrated by Charles Starkweather but Malick's lyrical Badlands is still one hell of a movie

…and whether Scout’s singing about the hardships of her home town or the necessity of finding her way out of the darkness or going skinny dipping in the Atlantic Ocean during lockdown or the trials and tribulations of romantic entanglements or checking out a hottie on the M train and it making her feel alive again (check out this helpful song-by-song breakdown by S.G. herself) it’s near impossible not to be sucked into the slowly swirling eye of the raging hurricane of Scout’s voice which is both the still eye and its the surrounding storm-bands in this scenario painting in timbral hues ranging from a whisper to a whimper to a yowl to a howl to a swooping scream...

…and lucky for you Scout Gillett's about to go on tour so you should probably check out SG and her Chicken Shakers if she makes it to your town or ‘burg and even luckier if you happen to catch a date in April on the last leg of the tour—eight shows in nine nights—when they’re touring with fellow twangy rock ’n’ roll band fronted by an artful, soulful singer-songwriter and Deli favorite Sarah Shook & the Disarmers straight outta North Carolina so lucky for you Baltimore and Pittsburg and Queens (hell yeah!) but I’m sure there’s great opening bands in other cities too. (Jason Lee)


Scout Gillett opens for Greet Death at Berlin on 11.03

Songwriter Scout Gillett will open for Dares and Greet Death at Berlin on November 3rd. Scout released her first indie single "Signal" in February, as well as her second -- "Mother Of Myself" -- in July. Scout embarked on a West Coast tour this past summer, increasing her national presence as a rising artist, and just a couple of weeks ago she released the music video to "Mother Of Myself", which you can watch below. Like Gillett's other work, it rises and falls with emotion and shifts from idea to idea seamlessly. Catch Scout live at Berlin on November 3rd to see her passionate performance for yourself. - Will Sisskind


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