Long Night (Keeled Scales)
Reviewed by Rachel Rascoe, Fri., Sept. 6, 2019
Following a decade of ballet performance and recording music, Jordan Moser turns a fresh leaf on his local Keeled Scales debut. The carefully curated collection of country folk slides open softly on the steel guitar-shaped "Down With Me." Rich hums separate Moser's literary lines, echoed by the smoky tone of Austin's Molly Burch on all eight tracks, including a feature for final Western duet "Road to Trouble." Pointed instrumentation and Dailey Toliver's swooping guitar curves make the album agreeable for Burch fans, darkened with a dense tangle of lovesick reflections. "The Devil" prays wearily to the eternal challenge of romance ("Oh Devil, let us sleep like we used to"), followed by the title track's warning: "It's gonna be a long, long night." That sentiment comes to a head on "Love Is Gonna Test You," foiling bright beats over placement in "a wilderness of the soul." The writings of a witty, well-traveled skeptic, Moser's songs slip out like sighs. Sometimes the breaths are resigned, but others mark entrance of a new beginning.