Tabs Out | Neil Scrivin – Stars and Rumors of Stars

Neil Scrivin – Stars and Rumors of Stars

7.23.19 by Ryan Masteller

I haven’t watched “Stranger Things” season 3 yet, (2 eps in, gimme a break), but I’m getting that vibe right away from the Jcard font on “Stars and Rumors of Stars,” a “finally-seeing-the-light-of-day” release from Neil Scrivin on Fonolith. And let’s be clear – the only reason I noticed the font in any way is that I somehow glanced away from the brilliant full-cassette-shell artwork (variations of blue-screened autumn tree branches), and I probably only did that because the kids next door were playing baseball and a ball went over the fence and conked me right on the noggin while I stood, mouth agape, on my porch looking at this thing, the rest of the mail forgotten in my other hand. But yeah, it’s that retro Stephen King novel font. I like that font.

This tape may have been initially recorded in 2004, but let’s be clear: this is totally a 2019 release. (Literally and stylistically.) To circle back to those scamps from Hawkins, Indiana – not so scamp-y (and certainly not scampi) anymore, I guess, what with time marching on and all – they’d probably be totally down to listen to Neil Scrivin during a D&D sesh, the moody synth pulses and electro beats just downtempo enough to not overpower the room. The Duffer Brothers should be popping this into a cassette deck near them, and the S U R V I V E dudes shouldn’t go another day without enlisting Scrivin for their next tour. That’s the power of “Stars and Rumors of Stars.” 

Playing off the biblical “wars and rumors of wars” warned of in the book of Revelation, Scrivin eyes something equally dangerous/rapturous in the skies, and he plays to his imagination of it. For example – is that supposed to be a UFO coming down over the night fields by the house on the cover? Given the King nods, my unyielding “Stranger Things” talk, and the tense dark synthwork proffered by Scrivin, I wouldn’t be surprised. It could also just be one of those titular stars, shining down through the clouds, teasing knowledge of mysterious deeds. The mystery is the fun part.

“Full-face UV printed cassette tape in black library case” available from Fonolith. See, I told you you’d want one, if only just to look at! 

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