Rivulets: You Are My Home

You Are My Home
Important Records

Nathan Amundson, the sole constant member of Rivulets, has been a label nomad the past few years, shuffling from Alan Sparhawk of Low's Chairkicker's Union label to BlueSanct, Tract, Acuarela, and Silber Records. Amundson has a similar geographical wanderlust evidenced in his own globe-trekking. Born in Colorado and raised in Alaska, Amundson has been making his way southward, spending a few years in Minneapolis and Chicago before coming to rest in Bloomington, Indiana. For years, the overused expression to describe his music—"glacial"—actually seemed appropriate, but things are no longer quite so chilly. It may be the change of climate or it may be a change in friends, but You Are My Home contains some of Rivulets' prettiest, most orchestrated music, as well as its heaviest.

A new label (Massachusetts-based Important) and a new locale may have affected Amundson's slight sea change, but still, even when the songs burst forth beyond Amundson's usual Mark Kozelek-inspired solo acoustics (thanks to friend-contributors Jessica Bailiff, Chris Brokaw, and Bob Weston), like on the nearly six-minute slow-burner standout, "You Are My Home," his voice stays typically soft, high, and fragile, unaffected by the aural haze around him.

Amundson's lyrics frequently allude to self-mutilation ("Cutter"), longing ("Waiting for You"), and, most popularly, alcohol abuse ("Conversation with a Half-Empty Bottle"). On "Heartless," Amundson opens the song by singing, "And I'll come home/Drunk again/And we'll ruin everything/And you fell out of love." Some things never change.