For me, Eskota is one of the most evocative musical experiences of the year. The vocals and instrumentation paint a picture of skewed memories, fractured dreams, searching for a sense of place, and the lure and illusion of home. The five songs are the work of Sawyer Gebauer, performing as Catch Prichard. Sawyer recorded the album in an abandoned grocery store in a Texas ghost town called Eskota, and now resides in Oakland. But the emotional content likely was formed in Sawyer's years traveling to and from Europe while fronting Brittsommar, a band he formed in Sweden.
Eskota features Gebauer's warm, sandy baritone and simple arrangements dominated by pedal steel, guitar and drums, with occasional synths. And as enchanting as that all is, the magic here for me is found in the questions raised about where your home is, how to find it, and how to experience it. Perhaps it is just my stage in life combined with recent events, but this is an album I want right now. It is an album I need. From one Wisconsin native to another, thanks, Sawyer.
Eskota is out now on Devise Records.