Back in October, Cousin Dud released a new record called Sunspots. You probably haven’t heard of it because Cousin Dud is as bad as I am about self-promotion. I’d been emailing with Matt Carmichael around that time, and I don’t think he ever mentioned that they were putting out any new music. Luckily, I was poking around Spotify last night to fill out my top songs of 2016 in case I missed anything, and I randomly looked them up to hear an older song of theirs.
I asked the band to play a show celebrating the fifth anniversary of this website in April, which they kindly agreed to do. They headlined, and played mostly new material that I hadn’t heard before that night. It was late on a weekday, so a lot of people didn’t stay to hear them, but a few of those that did came up to me afterward to ask about them. Cousin Dud has long been one of my sleeper bands in Chicago (honestly maybe too sleepy if I didn’t even know they had a record out), and I’m happy to report that Sunspots is another winner.
It’s a much more focused piece, following last year’s sprawling Sad Moments In Modern Music. Eight tracks, covering about 35 minutes of the best Americana rock you’ll hear. “Square Rats” shows off a lot of the band’s Wilco influence, with a little Craig Finn in Matt Carmichael’s voice. The guitar break is too short, but gives you a glimpse of the talent on hand for this recording. It’s also a very Chicago song, but relatable to anyone.
I hadn’t planned on listening to the whole album last night. I was on the search for singles to add to my ever-growing list. As each track played, I thought “That could be on the list.” Only to have the next song be even better than the last. So I laid on my couch for half an hour just listening to song after song and kicking myself for not getting to Sunspots earlier.
In the end, I went with the closing track “Eloisa’s Revenge.” Since every song is better than the one preceding it, how could I choose anything else?
Cousin Dud is currently offering their whole digital library for $7.35, which is a steal and I highly recommend you get it. You can buy them from the group’s Bandcamp page.