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Blitzen Trapper – 100’s Of 1000’s, Millions Of Billions (Yep Roc)

Americana is not a genre” is an argument I’ve heard from time to time over the years. If ever there was an album to disprove that belief, it’s Blitzen Trapper‘s latest; their eleventh full length. Given how long they’ve been around, it’s incredible to think that, now, in 2024, they’ve released a record that I firmly believe may come to be regarded as a classic of the genre. And yes, I am calling it a genre.

Ain’t Got Time To Fight‘ introduces the album, church organs paving the way for the song’s delightful country twang and entertaining opening lyrics: “The spirit led me out for forty days and forty nights / But the devil showed up with a film crew, baby and he shot it all in black and white.” As fabulous as that and the other more up tempo tracks are on 100’s Of 1000’s, Millions Of Billions are, it’s the more introspective, acoustically driven numbers that hit home the most.

To that end, ‘Hesher In The Rain‘ seems to hint at a holiday romance or long distance love affair, set to a gorgeous Elliott Smith style fingerplucked guitar, but it’s Eric Earley‘s voice that really elevates it, sorrowful but wistful all at once, while Simon and Garfunkel would have been proud of the pretty, carefree, violin enhanced ‘Planetarium‘ which is tender and warm, the music embracing you like a childhood comfort blanket.

View From Jackson Hill‘ is even better, its sparse but somehow still expansive demeanour really tugging at those heartstrings, with lyrics like “Sometimes I’m imagining your voice / Coming from the kitchen in the evening time / Telling me it’s time to make some changes / Won’t you follow me?

Elsewhere the band visit In The Aeroplane Over The Sea territory (‘Dead God Of The Green Arising‘), appear to pay affectionate homage to The Band (‘Upon The Chain‘) and Steely Dan (‘Hello Hallelujah‘), with a scattering of some of the other great American artists of our time – I can hear elements of Tim Buckley, Wilco and even James Taylor in here somewhere. It’s an absolutely beautiful album and without a doubt, one of the band’s best.

That’s even more impressive when you consider the fact that most of these songs were written when Earley was just a teenager, contained within an old box of tapes that he rediscovered recently. Sure, you can probably guess what the 19 year old Earley was listening to at the time (I’d be surprised if ‘Cheap Fantastical Takedown‘ wasn’t inspired in some way by John Lennon‘s ‘Gimme Some Truth‘), but they’ve been treated with the utmost respect and honed into something that’s really special.

Yet another contender for Album Of The Year.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.