ALBUM PREMIERE: KENNY SEGAL “HAPPY LITTLE TREES”
Longtime producer Kenny Segal (Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle, the Kleenrz, Milo and so many more) has finally put his first-ever solo instrumental album. Yes, he did a few Kenstrumentals—but everything on happy little trees is all brand new material, not tracks that appeared on someone else’s album. And yes, that’s absolutely a Bob Ross reference in the title, but happy little trees isn’t really all that happy. Think instead of Ross’ endless skies and distant mountain ranges, and the way some of his paintings had no evidence of human presence to disrupt the nature—that’s more Segal’s aesthetic here, with songs that find a subtle sadness in all that wide-open empty space. Beautiful, but kinda lonesome, too—like a long hike to the middle of nowhere. “Big Decisions” is the most energetic track—almost frantic, like the way Ross might zig-zag a bunch of treetops all at once—and most of the rest is varying degrees of lovely semi-fi home-made melancholy, from “cole’s final” and “then everyone went home” to sink-into-the-bleak songs like “black gesso”—one of the best, with a just-so guitar loop—and closer “slow drip,” a study in mystery and mood. It’ll be out tomorrow on Milo’s Ruby Yacht and L.A.’s The Order Label—and if it’s not quite a soundtrack for Bob Ross-ian creation, it’s perfect for introspective Bob Ross-ian contemplation.