Eatin’ at Me
Don’t be deterred by the spectacularly ugly cover art. Eatin’ at Me is an unassuming gem. Since the end of his collaboration with Lucinda Williams in the ’90s, singer-guitarist Gurf Morlix has produced a series of striking solo albums marked by dark visions and virtuosic, albeit tastefully understated, musicianship, and this downer-fest is no exception. Populating his songs with a host of memorable misfits, from teenage criminals to haunted vets to deranged lovers, he evokes these lost souls through a winning combination of weary, regret-soaked vocals and dusty, stripped-down roots grooves. But Eatin’ at Me is never merely glum: Thanks to generous portions of mordant wit and Morlix’s genuine empathy for his characters, it’s actually uplifting in a twisted way—much like a great blues record.