This week Sagent House released a split 12'' record between two of its most promising musicians, Emma Ruth Rundle and Evan Patterson (as Jaye Jayle).
Founded in 2006 by Cathy Pellow of Atlantic Records, Sargent House just passed its decade mark and is making a push for mainstream recognition (Sargent House releases now being available at Target stores) as no longer a shadow project but a post Americana powerhouse for New Country Blues. And there may be no better flagship than the Rundle/Jaye Jayle split The Time Between Us.
The album Begins with Rundle's 3 song offering which sounds as if The Dirty Three backed up Hope Sandoval in a post Fade Into You break up album. More subdued than Jaye Jayle's tracks, it still manages to instill the dark magic of everyday loneliness that Patterson delivers so effortlessly on the Jaye Jayle full length 'House Cricks And Other Excuses To Get Out' from last year.
It's hard to imagine how Patterson could top the heavy hitting dark blues country from House Cricks, and yet he has raised the bar yet again and in only 3 short tracks. The first track "About Time You Came To Me" is a hurricane of Robert Johnson shadow lore and country blues guitar licks with a proto-Industrial backline of spring reverb and synth bleeps and bloops. The feeling is continued with "Unnecessarily" before culminating into the masterful track "Hope Faith County" with Patterson's no-nonsense vocal execution of the matter-of-fact truth about the world which is possibly that the sun may raise every morning, but half the day is always shrouded in darkness. Patterson's take on life's trials is something like even the most lonely of hearts still beat.
"Hope Faith County" melts Patterson's Country Blues style with a Ziggy Stardust infusion, blending fiddle and country western guitar with reverb drenched synth and a desert town storyline colliding with an invasion from space. The line ''Space Girl Have you Finally Found Me?" could very well be the response song to the first track "About Time You Came To Me".
The Time Between Us is a must for anyone interested in an introduction to these fine musicians or the Sargent House label. It is a quick 6 songs, and without a single miss step, although one can't help but to wonder why a duet between the two was not included.