We've covered Max before—here and here. He is one of my favorite contemporary lyricists, and I look forward to hearing every new track of his that comes my way. Max has a way of enveloping pure pathos in the language of workaday circumstance, so that every song is a mood that moves from deep self-inspection to a celebration of the moment, whatever complex emotions it may contain. As a lover of existential literature and the language of human anguish, I wonder sometimes—if Albert Camus came back as a Puerto Rican songsmith—whether he might choose to inhabit the flesh of Max García Conover.
"sad, babe" is a story-driven vibe with minimal accompaniment, incorporating Cleveland, a car crash, the Virgin Mary, a Puerto Rican nationalist, and a poem by Joy Harjo into a juxtaposition of sadness and beauty that is nothing short of breathtaking. In this layered and serpentine narrative I hear echoes of Josh Ritter, John Moreland, and Jeffrey Martin, just to name a few. Somehow the art of Max García Conover incorporates what I see as the essence of acoustic folk and roots: a raw and vulnerable musical vérité that surprises us with a personal truth that, until now, was hidden from view.