Record Review: Old New England Weather

Old New England Weather
Knew Myths
Jamaica Plain, MA

“Psychedelic and kettle-whistling Americana”

There’s not a whole lot of info to be found on Old New England Weather, other than it’s a project of a singer/songwriter named Jeff Chasse, and that there is one album to their name, entitled Knew Myths. Though there isn’t a detailed bio or instrumentation list, simply listening to the record reveals graphic Americana imagery and a portrait of the dark poet behind the mystery curtain.

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The lo-fi folk in this album borders on psychedelic at times, but it will come back down to reality with its concrete, stream-of-consciousness pictures of desolate city streets, druggies huddled in the darkness, yet illuminated by the moon, rotting civilization, and relationships based on an uneasy predator vs. prey mentality. Songs like “Hot Water Heater” and “Poet Country” induce desires for a Walden-esque, kettle whistling, Americana winters, where people barter for goods and spend mornings watching frost melt off tree branches. Even without the reference to his friend, the seven and half minute long psychedelic track “WWGD” would’ve made the late Hunter S. Thompson grin with its chilling reptilian images: “He wants to be a Ralph Steadman mess / And that’s okay, I guess /But I got no respect for the bee sting tongue / Lizard lunging routine ya did.”

Whatever Jeff Chasse’s or Old New England Weather’s story is, it is certain that Knew Myths is a prodigious introduction and a good companion for the upcoming winter. (Self-released)

Recorded by Joe Stewart at Hummelvision

Mastered by Rob Gonnella and Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East, Cambridge

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