Mark Mulcahy: The Gus review – Splendid guitar pop
Another cult artist worthy of attention? Join the queue, mate. American singer and songwriter Mark Mulcahy is, however, up there when it comes to levels of cultdom – he is the big cheese, the capo di tutti capi, the one who places other cult artists in the ha’penny place. And yet he continues to record – fitfully, it must be said – so he’s certainly hanging in there. The Gus won’t go any way to correcting the injustice of having such a good songwriter lean in from the sidelines, but if there is further evidence needed that Mulcahy is special, then The Gus provides it. Each of the album’s 10 songs was loosely inspired by Mulcahy’s admission (upon reading short stories by George Saunders) to improve his lyrics. Adding to the literary bent, the album was pieced together in a circular library with a recording studio at the centre. To this effect, the likes of A Long Time Ago, Wicked World, Mr Bell and Daisy Marie tell significant tales about everyday people. Another Mulcahy pleasure – low key as always but bursting with splendid guitar-wired pop songs that are as much bubblegum as barbed wire.