“It’s a rich man’s world. I’m a poor, poor man.” It’s not autobiographical in this case, but Carey Mercer’s lamentation on Pickpocket’s Locket’s opening track is tailor-made for the Frog Eyes milieu. Regardless of sales or recognition, Mercer has always come across as the underdog sort.
Pickpocket’s Locket was itself built as a poor man’s record; Mercer abandoned electronic instruments in favour of an acoustic guitar that he inherited from his father. He next recruited piano and upright bass players, and his wife returned to drum, after skipping the last album. The result is a tame LP by Frog Eyes standards, but it’s no less impassioned than anything that came before.
Stripped of some of some of their usual eccentricities, these new Frog Eyes tunes nearly fall in line with recent Destroyer output. In truth, they plainly reveal just how comparable Mercer and Destroyer’s Dan Bejar are, in their ambition and temperament. Check out “Joe with the Jam,” courtesy of Pitchfork, below.