Simon Joyner The Lousy Dance

Simon Joyner’s sixth album, The Lousy Dance, is a monument to the Omaha, NB-based singer/songwriter’s patience and maturity. Featuring eight songs that are revealed slowly, note by thoughtful note in a 49-plus minute bout of golden music making, Lousy Dance is a truly remarkable album. Joyner, who rattles around the same stark terrain as Will Oldham and Nick Drake, is joined by producer Michael Krassner, Pinetop Seven members Charles Kim and Ryan Hembrey, horn and string arranger Fred Lonberg-Holm and more. These talented musicians unite to produce a sparse, warm soundtrack for Joyner’s collection of wistful and plaintive ballads. The result is a modern folk sound — campfire confessionals done up in a cosmopolitan context. Joyner’s songs, especially album highlights “Fool’s Gold on Main St.” and “When She Drops Her Veil” tell the tales of love lost and found and lives half lived. It is the stuff of mopey mush when placed in the wrong hands; Joyner makes it sing. While sparse and not upbeat, The Lousy Dance isn’t dour by any stretch. It gains power from its own introspection. (Truck Stop)