Daybreak tends to creep up on you. Emerging from starry darkness, the sun wobbles at first but proceeds on its scheduled arc. You can’t help but wonder if it ever looks back in disbelief, or regret. This feeling of self-reflection—of looking back to see how far you’ve come—is precisely the sentiment of Thawing Dawn, the first solo record from A. Savage, released on Dull Tools.
The songs on Thawing Dawn form a guided tour through the romantic environs of A. Savage’s mirrored mind. While some were written recently, other tunes were penned over the past decade. For one reason or another, these compositions didn’t land with any of Savage’s other groups, and instead are presented now as a distinct collection. Reflecting back, Savage says, “Once I realized I had a small body of work that didn’t fit anywhere else, I started to examine the commonalities: What’s the common denominator of all this and how I can expand on it?”
Savage is best known as the frontman for Parquet Court, a duty split with fellow Texan Austin Brown. Their last record, Human Performance, delved into the emotional wreckage of a broken heart, to critical acclaim. But withThawing Dawn, it’s clear that Savage has matured. While assembling the record, he fell in love. Now, for the first time, we hear songs about being on the inside of love. Rather than lamenting the end of a relationship, we hear a voice trying, in the moment, to make sense of love’s mysteries. “Part of this maturity,” he says, “is reflecting on something when it’s happening, not just when it’s gone.”
Thawing Dawn gives us honesty: We see the artist at home in bed, more singer-songwriter portrait than esoteric statement. Throughout his discography Savage has long abbreviated his first name as a kind of writerly gesture. He says, of the move, “I am an uncivilized member of modern civilization--I’m just a savage.” Like Duchamp’s R. Mutt signature on a urinal, the shortening embodies a mischievous directness, enabling this savage to introduce his slanted honesty into the universe.“
Special Guest: Jack Cooper (Ultimate Painting)