Penny Blacks’ Moleskine Weather is a suitable offering for this Autumnal Equinox; a four and a half song EP, solemnly opening the procession as we witness Summer’s living funeral. Moleskine Weather is the dirge we’ve been waiting for.
Two major events happen every fall. First, and most noticeably, the oncoming cold weather strips the trees of their foliage and dignity. Like the White Witch having her way with Aslan’s mane, it’s a desecration of the most glorious of seasons. Secondly, the lesser known but no less crucial changing over of my music library. Bob Marley gets traded in for Bob Dylan, MGMT for The National, Matt Mays for Stars. As the landscape becomes a minefield of pumpkin spice my soul turns inward to its own desolation. This is where Moleskine Weather belongs.
‘Every Summer was another Winter he would dread / Every girl was another man found in his bed / I wished him luck / He cursed the jinx I sent / Held grudges for all the ways I hadn’t even wronged him yet’
Moleskine Weather opens with ‘A Bell’, a lo-fi soundscape consisting of guitars tolling over lawn-mowers as Jason Ogden laments his social media, before delving into an album stripped down to its roots as it skews the genres of alt folk and blues in its minimalism. Composed almost exclusively of a reverbed guitar, and Odgen seemingly singing to us from his shoes, there’s nothing to impede the intimacy between the artist and your ears. It is rich in its starkness. It’s a moment of solidarity, a somber comrade offering a strong drink at the end of a long day, and a warm breeze blown through bare trees, rustling already fallen leaves. It’s a touching bittersweet consolation prize.
Put it in your car stereo, drive off into the night, and have a good cry as you try to forget the feeling of the sun’s warmth on your skin.