Fletcher Tucker :: Cold Spring

Seven years ago, songwriter Fletcher Tucker went to Big Sur.

Settling into the rugged landscape, where the Santa Lucia Mountains jut sheerly before the Pacific Ocean, Tucker had an idea in mind: inhabitation. He did not want to live on the land, he wanted to live with it. To hear him tell it, his aim was mystical, primal, and psychospiritual. After studying farming at the famed Esalen Institute, he and his wife made a home in Big Sur, and it was there he gathered up the naturalistic drones, field recordings, and psychedelic folk songs that make up his new lp, Cold Spring.

Calling it an album about nature feels limiting. It is, more so, a reflection of an artist’s total immersion in the idea of “place,” its spectral songs often swallowed up in the shadows of giant redwoods, the coos of owls, and the howls of far-off coyotes. “I trek this trail hunting for songs,” Tucker sings lowly alongside the high clear voice of Molly Erin Sarlé of Mountain Man on “I Become Smoke,” “But the mountain’s song consumes me as I limp along.”

"Cold Spring" by Fletcher Tucker

Tucker assembled the record over the course of four years, building on foundations of pump organ, acoustic guitar, banjo, saxophone, synth, human voices, and percussion. But the album’s roots stretch back further, to his youth, when he spent summers at Big Sur. A native of Northern California – he was raised in a town called Pacific Grove – the wildness of Big Sur spoke to Tucker, like it has so many artists before him, from ethnomusicologist Jaime de Angulo and poet Robinson Jeffers to writers Henry Miller and Richard Brautigan. The place has haunted his music for some time, lingering over the recordings he’s made as Bird By Snow, but with Cold Spring he fully explores the terrain.

Only the good shit. Aquarium Drunkard is powered by its patrons. Keep the servers humming and help us continue doing it by pledging your support.

To continue reading, become a member or log in.