We throw off our past like old coat, tattered and thin from wear and weather, but still tethered to its stories. "Coming up on noon / The old room / Feels like an ulcer," Emilie Rex sings on the hushed waltz "Come And See," navigating a twinkling ambiance with lead weights. It's the featherweight punch that opens Lean Year's self-titled debut, shuffling through the softest of songs with a far-away intimacy.
Lean Year is a new Richmond duo from Emilie Rex and Rick Alverson, who led the slowcore band Spokane in the early 2000s (The Proud Graduates is worth visiting or revisiting — it's a personal favorite). Alverson left music to pursue filmmaking, directing videos for the likes of Sharon Van Etten and Strand Of Oaks, and made the feature film The Comedy, and puts that experience to work in this video for "Come And See," filmed in a swamp just 40 minutes outside of Richmond.
As Rex wades through the water, it feels like both a redemptive journey and a ritual shedding when she sings, "F*** off the world / The old girl / F*** off the old world."
Lean Year's self-titled debut comes out Oct. 20 via Western Vinyl.