Songs You May Have Missed #588


The Jayhawks: “Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces” (2016)

I’ll defer here to Walter Tunis’ review of the Jayhawks’ Paging Mr. Proust album from the Lexington Herald Leader:

The opening tune to the new Jayhawks album Paging Mr. Proust isn’t just a fine encapsulation of the band’s Americana and pop inspirations. It is quite possibly the perfect pop song.

Clocking in at three minutes, there isn’t a wasted breath on Quiet Corners and Empty Spaces. It exudes melancholy and a hint of restless urgency (“Not far, a blue guitar was playing; it drew me like it knew me, saying…”) then strides along with such an effortless melodic flow as to recall The Byrds at their best. But then there are the vocals: a three-part harmony design created by Jayhawks chieftain Gary Louris along with keyboardist Karen Grotberg and drummer Tim O’Reagan. That’s the dealbreaker: a simple, infectious but overwhelmingly emotive wave of singing that proclaims, in definitive terms, that The Jayhawks have returned.

So captivating is the song that upon first listen to the album, I hit repeat five times before exploring the other riches within Paging Mr. Proust.

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Photo credit: Heidi Ehalt

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