It took one listen to the yearning "Reno" to make me a fan of Seattle-based Downpilot. The cut, from the artist's new album, Radio Ghost out Friday on Tapete Records, is a near-countryish slow rocker that unfurls to sublime effect.
Elsewhere on Radio Ghost, things veer in the direction of the Pernice Brothers ("Day of the Long Sun"), or even The Jayhawks ("Rosaline"). With just a few chords, the music of Downpilot seems to be the product of both the past and now. "Hallowed Ground" employs a subtle use of slide guitar to convey a sense of worldweariness, for lack of a better term. "Chutes and Ladders" evens sounds a tiny bit like The Eagles, specifically a country ballad with Don Henley doing vocal duties.
All that being said, Radio Ghost is a consistent album that rewards careful listeners. Poised close to the sort of alt-country favored by Joe Pernice and his crew, the music of Downpilot here also bears favorable comparisons to the best stuff from Beulah and even Pavement at their more pensive moments.