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Birmingham, Alabama musician Jesse Payne describes his sound as “painting songs on paper canvas and audio waves” and that’s pretty accurate. His songs are like impressionist paintings, using hints and textures to create evocative images that are in some ways more true to their subjects than photographs.
On “Take Me,” Payne observes the promises made by modern society and how seldom those promises ever come close to being fulfilled. “Read it in a magazine,” he sings, “You can live like you want with a pretty face / This culture thinks that they do it all / Just for her. But they don’t.” The more one does to get ahead in the world, the less in possession of their own soul they seem to be, as there will always be someone else lining up to control and manipulate them. Little wonder, then, that Payne sums up his feelings with the repeated lines, “Don’t take me now. Don’t take me.”
Musically, Payne inhabits the same realm of stark Americana as Band of Horses, Calexico, Giant Sand and The National. “Take Me” saunters along on a gently twanging country lope until southwestern horns join in support, imbuing the song with a mournful sadness as Payne paints a picture of a culture whose promises of getting ahead only seem to ever deliver a position further back in all the ways that matter.
Click here to listen to Buffalo on Spotify.