J Mascis may have made his name slaying sludge with Dinosaur Jr., but his past two solo albums, Tied to a Star most recently, reveal a skilled ability to churn out stoner lullabies. That’s not to say that Mascis has retired his axe, it’s just that the frequency and volume have slowed to a pace that matches his weary, just woke up from a nap voice. Where solos used to soar and lurch, they now crawl tastefully like veins up an arm, or tired lightning bolts through the sky.
“Wide Awake”, one of the chilled standouts from Star, even features Cat Power’s Chan Marshall, sounding more tired and beautiful than she has in a while. The entire album, out August 26, is streaming on NPR. I recommend waking up or falling asleep to this gentle gem of an album.