Gestalt, the latest project from Texas-based musician and poet Ryan Sambol, is an understated mix of inverted country and home-recorded loner folk that evokes a troubadourian loneliness. Though originally written for full-band accompaniment, the songs on the album conjure an atmosphere of almost unbearable intimacy – the result of recording alone while confronting aching ruminations on self and personal hardship. A long ways from the emotive indie rock of Sambol’s past work in bands like The Strange Boys and ephemeral Austin legends Living Grateful, the material on Gestalt opts for the frontier over sweaty dive bars, offering a plethora of simple songs that strut and warble with the well-worn vestige of old time cowboy music. Tracks like “You’re Still Lovable To Someone,” “Just Like Golden Hours,” and “Different Sky” vividly archive the ruthless self-examination brought on by quarantine through great lyrical specificity, painting images of looking for love online in the comments of your favorite song and having a dark horizon all to yourself, while also taking long hard looks at the value of interpersonal relationships and the inevitability of death.
Buy and stream Ryan Sambol’s new album Gestalt out everywhere via Perpetual Doom.