Over the past few years, Carey Mercer (aka Frog Eyes) has had no problem coming up with lyrical fodder. After contracting cancer before the release of 2013's Carey's Cold Spring, Mercer experienced the death of his father. Picking up the acoustic guitar his dad left him in his will, Carey wrote the ten tracks that would make up Pickpocket's Locket without help from a computer. The resulting release shows Carey rediscovering the simpler, more stripped back nature of his early material, as his ninth LP abandons the jerky, paranoid arrangements that's he's become known for.
Bringing in a hefty ensemble of musicians, including friends Jesse Zubot and Paul Rigby, along with his wife Melanie Campbell, tracks like "Two Girls (One for Heaven and the Other One for Rome)" and "The Demon Runner" never come off overstuffed or complex, despite the sophistication of Spencer Krug's arrangements. Pickpocket's Locket stands as some of Mercer's most urgent and terse work to date. (Paper Bag)