Ever since I heard the opening line of “When I’m alone” off of Super XX Man’s stellar single Collecting Rocks, I was sold. Evidently I am not the only one, as the good folks down at NPR All Song’s Considered have featured extensively Super XX Man, or known by day as Scott Gared, and rightfully so. Formerly signed to Austin indie label Peek-A-Boo Records (old home to mega-band Spoon and present label of electro-tastic Octopus Project), Scott Garred moved to Portland in 2002 where he’s since took on a role as music therapist at the mental institution where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed. Although he might be 9-to-5 in’ it up, he has still been able to release great new material every year! Labeling his LPs by volumes, Gerrad’s present disc stands at XI — quite an impressive discography that would have Ryan Adams envious.
Although his music and songwriting might appear average, on closure examination you realize how much of a ability Gared has for making stunning laid-back simple songs that are perfect for the days you want to relax, sit back, and just listen to tunes. By far Super XX Man’s best album is his tenth one, simply entitled X. Blissful, tranquil, and loose are just a handful of adjectives that come to mind when thinking about this album, but however easy the soft music is to take in, the themes of heartache and lost love can be difficult pills to swallow. Pleads of “I need another chance // I want another chance // I need another chance to be with you” are echoed on Garage Apartment creating a feeling of desperation few artists adequately can capture. Those intimate moments where you can imagine him pressing record on his tape player is where Garred shines the most. What is pleasantly surprising is how often those moments occur on each album. From I to XI, you are guaranteed to get a glimpse of an artist that makes you question whether or not you were his intended audience or if his music was only meant to only stay with those incarcerated in the institution
Tags: Super XX Man