NEW RELEASES 1/13: Holy smokes, the new SUSTO is here, along with a gorgeous new RENEE FLEMING, JOHN ABERCROMBIE, THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS, BONOBO & BAND OF HEATHENS!
According to the band’s website, “Susto” is a Spanish word that roughly translates into “panic attack,” or more specifically, the time when your soul is separated from your body. After an early start in the music business led to some burn-out at 26, the relatively young Justin Osborne felt the need for spiritual renewal, so he headed to Cuba to hopefully find some meaning beyond music. Instead, he came away with a perfectly apt band name more convinced than ever to pursue his musical whims. & I'm Fine Today is his second album since that sojourn. Mostly comprised of laid back, country-tinged, acoustic numbers, Osborne’s mournful compositions are nicely surrounded by ideal musical decorations (horns, organ, strings), reminding me a bit of The Band and 90’s world music act Rusted Root (the latter felt heaviest on closer "Jah Werx," a great song to celebrate your Rastafarian faith). He wrote this album as a reflection of what he considers his place in the world and making peace with where he is. Certainly not novel, but there are enough thoughtful yet engaging songs here to overlook the well-trodden philosophical approach.