CD - $11.99
Download - $6.99
After 13 years writing, recording, and producing, Scott Garred aka Super XX Man, has cultivated a mildly edgy modern rock sound in the new release Volume XII: There’ll Be Diamonds. Previous releases have garnered acclaim from the likes of Bob Boilen, host of All Songs Considered ("If we're going to choose ten songs every week, let it be Super XX Man”) and Amy McCullough, music editor of Willamette Week ("If love had a sound, this would be it”).
Although there’s plenty of the familiar Super XX Man-style of music on his latest album, what will no doubt surprise many long time fans are the moody, foreboding tracks that lie at the heart of the album. Songs like “Medication”, “Little Leaf” and “Crazy People” help to comprise, as Garred says, “my most sonically ambitious album to date.” Songs are marked by washes of feedback, dark atmospherics and pointillist lyrics that chronicle the lives of the people Garred works with at the Oregon State Hospital, the oldest psychiatric institution in his home state.
It’s a pronounced shift in focus for Garred who has used the other volumes in his ever-growing discography to sing about friends and family, love and loss. Garred is as much a storyteller on this album as he is an empathizer reiterating how people cope with life at the State Hospital. On Volume XII, Garred sings about a woman who plays guitar until her fingers bleed, a man so lonely he only wants to go to parties and meet girls, and the ‘guilty except for insanity’ person strolling down a corridor wearing his new state-issued sweats. The album’s closer, “Cautious like a Panther,” has this same person strutting his stuff down any trendy thoroughfare in Portland.