As the enduring creative force behind Ivory Library, Jeff Jagielo often charged far ahead of the common run of jangly, sensitive R.E.M. wannabes with whom the Madison band was often compared. Squarewave, his trio with Patrick Connaughty and former Ivory Library drummer Brandon Smith, is just as adventurous.
These days, Jaglieo and his mates go for atmospheric production filled out with thick washes of guitar, forlorn (although hardly depressing) vocals and keyboards that generally provide added colors rather than melody. There's a touch of classic shoegazer in their work, too, and when they dial up the fluid sci-fi guitar part of "Blindman" it's hard not to flash on the Cure's high Goth period.
But that's okay, since it's also always plain that Jagielo and company are expanding on their sources, not ripping them off. Beyond that, there's a haunting quality to the music here and on most of the other tracks from their recent album A Faint Glow that's utterly their own. I'm certain that, in part, it comes from waiting out decade after decade of gray Wisconsin winters in cramped practice spaces and basement studios. But it also has something to do with Jagielo's unique musical DNA.
To his credit, he's never been a shiny-happy-people sort of songwriter, and his willingness to confront the encroaching darkness when others turn away is a big reason why his ideas haven't loss any force over the years. This is a compelling track, and it comes from a very compelling album. Search it out.
A MP3 of the track is available in the related downloads at right.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.