Today on Ecléctico you're listening to Mac McCaughan, a musician and music lover based in North Carolina. Some of you may know him from his band Superchunk, in which he sings and plays guitar, and/or the record label he co-owns, Merge Records. His recent solo work is anything but solo; he's a serial collaborator and his enthusiasm for all kinds of music is boundless. You'll go deeper with an excerpt from an article by Jes Skolnik on Bandcamp Daily.
"The Sound of Yourself" by Mac McCaughan
2021 | Singer, musician, songwriter, and collaborator based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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The Sound of Yourself is a warm, thoughtful record that balances elegantly between nostalgia and growth as easily as it does between solitude and collaboration or indie pop and ambient. If McCaughan hadn’t told me directly that he’d been listening to “lots of new wave and 4AD bands,” I probably could have intuited it—the big, round, rubbery bass and interplay between washes of effervescent synth and ascending, chorused-out guitar on tracks like the sweet, soaring “I Hear a Radio,” are pure New Order.
The title of the album also comes from a rock bio from an artist active during that time McCaughan felt inspired by—Amy Rigby’s memoir Girl to City. On walks with his dog in the woods, he’d been listening to the audiobook version, read by Rigby herself, and had been enjoying it. “I think it’s the first time they’re in a recording studio. And it’s like, ‘Oh my god, I sound like that,’ he says. If you’re just playing music in a room with some people and singing together, it all sounds so good. And then you hear something isolated and in this more hermetically sealed setting, like a recording studio, and it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s horrible sounding, I hate that.’ Something she said about getting used to the sound of yourself really resonated with me.”
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