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A.R. Wilson - Old Gold LP

A.R. Wilson - Old Gold LP


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A.R. Wilson (Andras, Wilson Tanner, A.R.T. Wilson) has put together what sounds on the surface like a slightly warped, slightly kitschy folk/country/blues record, like a jamboree of gut-string guitars and banjos plucking away outdoors at night accompanied by chirping crickets and galloping horses. But no guitars were harmed in the making of this album, or even used. 

After dipping into Australiana tropes over the course of his discography (think the McCain’s juicy corn ad cover of Corn or the outdoor ambience of Wilson Tanner’s 69), on Old Gold, Andras dips into the folklore of the 1850s Victorian Gold Rush, a period that was based on numerous myths: the promise that anyone could get rich digging up land that was stolen under false pretences only to find that what they most often turned up was worthless pyrite. 

That’s not to say that Old Gold is fool’s gold. But just like the gold rush there’s a bit of a bait-and-switch at play here. Most of the sound sources on the album—from the guitars to the crickets—are produced using an array of synthesis. Familiar signifiers are made somewhat strange and amorphous on further listens, with first impressions giving way to a hazy, simulated aural rethinking of an oft-regurgitated history, kinda how I imagine it would have been like showing up to Old Sydney Town while totally off your chops back in the day.

-Mitch (Repressed Records)