Published Feb 12, 2018If you know the name John B. McLemore, you probably know it from Brian Reed's smash-hit podcast S-Town. He was an antique clock restorer and the central character in Reed's gripping serial story of smalltown Alabama — but apparently he was a musician, as well. Ambient composer Tor Lundvall has now unveiled a previously unreleased collection of McLemore's compositions.
McLemore reached out to Lundvall in 2012, sharing a remix of the composer's music and including some of his own original compositions. After seeking permission to share the work on YouTube (Lundvall agreed), McLemore also sent a second disc of recordings, which he deemed unfinished.
It served as a second instalment of his Lundvall remix series, but in his accompanying notes, McLemore said that he was "dissatisfied" with elements like an overly "fussy" first movement and a boring intro to the fifth movement. He also noted an overwhelming feeling of guilt attached to the recording because of how much time he spent working on it just days before his father died.
Lundvall revisited that second instalment after learning that McLemore himself had died, and after learning about and listening to S-Town.
"Had I not listened to S-Town, I would have remembered John as a very private, somewhat dark and lonely person," Lundvall said in a statement. "He may have been these things, but there was obviously far more to him than that."
He continued, "John had mentioned that he wasn't satisfied with his final mix, but I felt his work was too special not to be heard. I hope that these recordings offer another glimpse into the creative mind of a unique, complex and gifted individual who tragically left this world all too early."
Lundvall has paired the release with artwork from one of his own paintings that McLemore admired. Listen to Tor Lundvall Presents: Witness Marks - The Works of John B. McLemore below.
It's out now via Dais Records.