Ohio’s Jayson Gerycz, Jen Powers and Matthew J Rolin are a wellspring of ecstatic improvised music. On Lamplighter, their second album as a trio, the Cloud Nothings drummer links up with the hammered dulcimer player and guitarist (respectively) to create an expansive form of abstracted Americana. In its subdued, melodic moments, Lamplighter’s pastoral psychedelia recalls Gunn-Truscinski Duo, while its more frenetic passages reach towards the rocky territory of Flower-Corsano.
“Rotations,” the album’s eight-minute opening salvo, begins with the isolated sound of Rolin’s guitar. After laying down a glistening fingerpicked foundation, Powers enters the jam with spellbinding percussive patterns that fuse into a sun-kissed drone. This allows Gerycz to contribute tumbling textures rather than a propulsive backbeat, though he does use his kick drum for the first time in the trio’s collaborative recordings. “That was a big change for me,” Gerycz explains in an email to Ears to Feed. “This one really fucking rocks.”
From their homes in Cleveland and Columbus, the endlessly prolific crew have become a cottage industry behind some of the year’s most dazzling releases. Thus far, their streak has included Powers/Rolin Duo’s Strange Fortune, Rolin’s The Dreaming Bridge, and Cloud Nothings’ The Shadow I Remember. Add Lamplighter to that list and you’ve got one of the most impressive runs of 2021. Keep them on rotation.
Gerycz/Powers/Rolin’s Lamplighter is out September 3rd from American Dreams.