Mark Olson’s career is littered with ups and downs, many associated with his time in seminal Americana band The Jayhawks. His latest venture is with his partner, both in life and music, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Ingunn Ringvold.
He says it is an “album that sounds like you are alone in the desert all by yourself” – apt, as it was recorded there. As ever with Olson’s work there is innocence, melancholy and often beautiful melody, which is accentuated by his partner’s chamber “string” arrangements on mellotron.
In addition, her harmonies add weight and shade. The songs are reflections on events from the past, happy (Seminole Valley Tea Sipper Society), odd (the title track) or thoughtful (All My Days). The lyrics are profound or profoundly silly – whatever floats your boat – but the music carries real charm, albeit it needs time to take root.