• Review

Travis Talbert Tears It All Down

It’s May 2021. The world is lurching, in fits and starts, back to some semblance of normalcy (even if that normal wasn’t all that great to begin with). Although I’m not quite sure my tolerance for that normalcy just yet, it’s nice to have something good to write about right now. Welcome, The Teardowns, to now.

I’ve written extensively about the person behind these four tracks, and all of their various musical endeavours, always with love and appreciation. And genuine admiration. Maybe even envy. I’m happy to say that this is much the same. But we can all agree that the world continues to be weird as shit, right?

Built from various pieces of his own musical identity, Mavis Guitar presents The Teardowns, what Travis Talbert is calling this particular Mavis Guitar Adjacent project, is an exercise in easy listening. And when I say, “easy listening,” I don’t mean in the “standing in an elevator, background music” kind of way. It’s music that is, quite simply, easy to listen to. Repeatedly. And the ease with which Talbert moves through these four tracks makes it all the more listenable. Repeatedly. Building on what he created with The Teardowns Vol. 1, there’s a polish and shine to these new tracks that somehow makes their existence all the more impressive.

Releasing on what looks to be the final Bandcamp Friday (a designated Friday each month where Bandcamp waives all fees and all proceeds go directly to the bands and labels), it seems fitting that The Teardowns would find its way out into the world. Over the course of 4 easy-going, aid back tracks, Talbert manages to distill everything that makes his music special - the ambient, almost ethereal vibes from his work on Mavis Guitar and the straightforward, rock-oriented stylings of Frontier Folk Nebraska. It’s about as tight a rope as one can walk when it comes to creating and releasing something so personal, but somehow Talbert manages to do so with both style and grace.

Of note, “Standing On Nothing Now” is an exceptional cover of Cleveland’s Bill Fox tune. Oh, and the final track - “21st Century Man” - is about as close to a highlight reel of Talbert’s many talents as one could ask for. A simply incredible 6 minute jaunt into all of the things he does so well. We’re a lucky city, dear readers.

Be sure to check out all things Mavis Guitar via Bandcamp this Friday, including MG presents The Teardowns Vol. 2. And remember, all proceeds go directly to the artists Friday only!