The Unseen In Between, the latest album by indie guitar-slinger Steve Gunn, is certainly more than the sum of its parts. We’re still treated to Gunn’s trademark on-the-road folk-rock. Yet the lyrics themselves are more about the people he’s known and wants to know more about.⠀
The album’s thematic centerpiece is “Stonehurst Cowboy.” Sonically, the song is more direct than the rest, with Gunn’s singing and strumming lacking his trademark atmosphere. Lyrically, however, the song holds the key to the whole album. Despite being a tribute to his father, the song hardly mentions him. You have to fill in between the lines who his father was, and you sense Gunn is doing the same. ⠀
Elsewhere, we hear about a man who’s “Paranoid;” all Gunn tells us is that he loves the word, despite not knowing what it means. Even “Vagabond,” the album’s catchiest tune, features a mysterious character; an artist named Sean Pierre. ⠀
While Gunn may be asking us to do more than simply listen, we wouldn’t be up to the task if it weren’t for the solid music accompanying the lyrics. In short, The Unseen In Between is an album that warmly invites you in while holding you at arm’s length. ⠀
When he’s not writing about music, Carlo Thomas is a digital marketer who currently lives in Denver, Colorado.