After circulating tapes during a few years of international touring and cultivating his following in Austin, David Longoria has recorded his debut studio album as Longriver: Of Seasons , a folk-animated meditation on time, death, and whispers of transcendence.
Of Seasons is led by Longriver’s lyrical, Fahey-styled guitar picking, accompanied by upright bass and ambient organ, piano and cello. The first track places us on a boat and sets off on the odyssey of the record. “When the ark was building Noah, and I was sitting nowhere” is the refrain of the song, and Of Seasons is full of such mythic, existential lines that make you grateful the album includes liner notes. The next song, “Wasting Time,” is direct and demanding: “I open the book of wasting time, I point and click on wasting time, wherever I look I’m wasting time,” sung with a power that encourages listeners to see our insecurities honestly and collectively. If the lyrics touch anxieties and fears, the rhythmic strength of Longriver’s fingerstyle playing–informed by Skip James, Charlie Patton, and Townes Van Zandt–keep the record moving, deftly afloat. Longriver channels the more mystical resonances of pre-war blues in “The Way That It Is,” a song that deals with illness, aging, and delusion in a surprisingly supportive tone. This song, and less directly the album as a whole, addresses inevitability of pain, and how ineptly our culture deals with that pain, whether through religion, the cult of work, material wealth, or romantic love. “Kuku Ree,” the closing track, offers no definitive answers: “You do the best with what you know, and slowly you go to the truth,” through the dream-like nature of everyday life and death.
released September 6, 2019
Recorded at King Electric Recording Co. in Austin, Texas
Produced by Michael Pierce and mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering.
Written and performed by David Longoria.
Musicians on the album include Sarah LaPuerta, Lindsey Verrill, Thor Harris, Evan Joyce, Colin Gilmore, and Alan Schaefer.