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Stitches - DEAD OCEANS
FILTER Grade: 82%

By Adam Valeiras on September 6, 2013



For so many releases stemming from so wide a range of starting points, Califone’s body of work is incredibly consistent and consistently alluring. Even frontman Tim Rutili’s older work with Red Red Meat and Isaac Brock’s Ugly Casanova stands near the best of the past quarter-century. Stitches fits snug in Califone’s discography. After 2006’s Roots & Crowns and 2009’s All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, which were—all relative, of course—pop-leaning and melody-based, Stitches offers the subsequent degree of accessibility. The album’s concept broadens, to reflect, as the title suggests, a life of “discomfort and healing,” covering topics from childhood to religious rumination. But, more than theme—because Rutili could write about whatever and we’d still have little certainty—Stitches is exquisitely composed. It retains Califone’s signature continuity effect—with slowed acoustic guitar and droning, industrial electronics—burning a 50-minute album into a grand, cinematic waft. If you like Califone, don’t worry—you’ll probably keep liking Califone.


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