Following the release of singles ‘New Moon’ and ‘Stonehurst Cowboy’, Steve Gunn today shares a third song off of The Unseen In Between (out January 18 on Matador / Remote Control), the gorgeous ‘Vagabond’ and its accompanying official video.
Named after Gunn’s favorite Agnes Varda film, ‘Vagabond‘ could almost be the soundtrack to a Denis Johnson short story or Sam Shepard play, with its rich cast of characters whose lives have gone astray — like Mona who “camped out in a graveyard” and Jean-Pierre who “came from the road, his artwork remains unsold.” Accompanied by gorgeous harmonies from Meg Baird, the song is a meditation on our restless times, an ode to the runaways, drifters, and vagabonds trying to make ends meet.
Jason Evans directed the accompanying official video, which includes graphics by Stephen Powers. It’s a stylish black & white performance film with a timeless feel, taking its visual cues from Richard Avedon and David Bailey. The intimacy lends itself well to Gunn’s impeccable guitar work, with close-ups of his fingers casting spells on the frets. Watch via the image below.
For over a decade, Steve Gunn has been one of American music’s most pivotal figures — conjuring immersive and psychedelic sonic landscapes both live and on record, releasing revered solo albums ranking high on in-the-know end of year lists, alongside exploratory collaborations with artists as diverse as Mike Cooper, Kurt Vile, and Michael Chapman (whose most recent studio album he produced). Gunn is known for telling other people’s stories, but on his breakthrough fourth album, TheUnseenInBetween, he explores his own emotional landscapes with his most complex, fully realized songs to date. The lyrics evoke voyages, tempests (actual and emotional), and a rich cast of characters met along the way — the work of an artist finding a place of calm in the midst of a storm. Produced by frequent collaborator James Elkington and engineered by Daniel Schlett, the immaculately recorded Unseen forces a reassessment of Gunn’s standing in the pantheon of the era’s great songwriters.