J. Tillman

Vacilando Territory Blues
4-panel cardboard wallet, with insert.
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Track List

  1. All You See
  2. No Occasion
  3. Firstborn
  4. Vessels
  5. James Blues
  6. Steel On Steel
  7. Laborless Land
  8. Barter Blues
  9. New Imperial Grand Blues
  10. Master's House
  11. Someone With Child
  12. Above All Men
  13. Vacilando Territory Blues

Vacilando Territory Blues, came as the result of three different recording attempts in 2008, in which entire sessions were scrapped, and ultimately the majority of the final material would surface and be recorded days before mastering. The push and pull of this record veers sharply from the tone of Tillman's previous releases, which for the most part, adhere to a singular mood and stylistic execution. The tension dynamically between songs like "Firstborn" and "New Imperial Grand Blues" is hard to reconcile, but the way the songs are framed herein belies a cohesion not dissimilar to classic oddball albums such as After The Goldrush. Sacrificing a stylized album, the breadth of Tillman's abilities as a songwriter emerge on VTB in an array of musical personalities bound by his lyrical existential dread and economical arrangements.
In 2008, Tillman joined Seattle band of longtime friends and musical collaborators, Fleet Foxes. Casey Wescott and Christian Wargo both appear on VTB, along with several regular contributors who were willing to adapt to several idiosyncratic recording obstructions. Vacilando Territory Blues is far and away Tillman's most collaborative effort, and the most striking moments here are those seemingly stumbled upon, without resorting to second-takes or microphone re-adjustment. This album casts a strange perspective on what people have come to expect from Tillman's music, but these songs, though oddly untethered, reveal the process of someone coming to terms with the prospect of making music in the void.


Josh Tillman, Joe Cuplin, Jenna Conrad, Jeff Fielder, Jacob Hoffman, Joe Kaufman, Jason Maculief, Bill Patton, Zachary Tillman, Casey Wescott, Christian Wargo & Colin Wolberg

Kory Kruckenberg

Ed Brooks (RFI)