Creekbed Carter Hogan & Large Brush Collection Make for a Playfully Austere Pairing on Split

by Eryn Brothers

Large Brush Collection and Creekbed Carter Hogan's Split tape

Intimacy clangs and sneaks through our everyday lives, whether we try to avoid it or cultivate it. A more intelligent person than I would be able to tie the yarn together of a fractured world’s need for that strange animal to the upswing of popularity with folk and country music, but today, all I want to talk about is SPLIT, the latest release and collaboration between Creekbed Carter Hogan and Large Brush Collection from Happen Twice Records.

Creekbed Carter Hogan and Large Brush Collection are both known for their intelligent, heartbreaking lyrics and tenderness, and this demo effectively weaves those mutual talents. Demos sometimes utilize the spaghetti approach– throw it at the wall and see what works– alongside rough recordings and sloppy rowdiness, which allows a good deal of grace in terms of punk and other rougher genres, yet rough and rowdy is not what you will find here sonically, even if the pastiche of the split tape is there. But grace is– Creekbed and Large Brush imbue those mussy attributes into their musings, blatantly and intimately rendering precise and sweet music to contemplate the messier parts of life. Put another way, for a very lush and devotedly musically vulnerable album, SPLIT is as raw and beautiful as any punk split I have heard, with the same quality that Connie Converse or Karen Dalton embodied. 

The pairing meets and exceeds all expectations set for these artists. Large Brush Collection can render an emotionally artful orchestration– the space in which they allow lyrics to bend with flute solos and bass pockets is serene and contemplative– whereas Creekbed Carter Hogan matches this lushness with his honey dipped guitar and divinely witty and poignant candor. It’s nothing short of an evocative split cassette, with the only chasm between being the canyon that Creek and Large Brush sing to each other over and through. 

From Large Brush Collection’s “Great Capacity,” and the trembling lines, “you went away/you couldn’t give this body grace,” to Creekbed Carter Hogan’s tragically hilarious “Full Time No Benefits,” where he is offered ping pong over human decency at work, these demos effortlessly examine sweetness and sorrow at all levels. From resilience found from loss to profound and quiet joys, SPLIT is a refreshing and playfully austere meditation on collaboration, folk music, and every intimate wonder in between.

SPLIT is out now from Happen Twice Records.