It took more than five years for Richard Buckner to get from Meadow to his 2011 release Our Blood. For some artists this isn’t a huge gap, but for Buckner (who consistently put out a new album every 1-2 years until 2002) this seemed abnormal. Perhaps because the circumstances of its conception were indeed abnormal. In the last five years, he has worked a series of small, odd jobs, had recording machinery broken and stolen, had unfounded trouble with the law, and suffered a number of setbacks that might derail any notion of a new album from many artists. Lucky for us, he’s one persistent musician. For our wait as fans of his, we received one hell of a great album. Perhaps the most intelligently-written record of 2011, Our Blood is as lyrically sharp as it is musically beautiful. It is deep, rich, balanced, deliberate, and passionate. It’s like a river winding through the forest, tiny treasures hidden in its folds and bends, but just as enrapturing when you listen to it only on the surface. This album would be surprisingly good from just about anyone but Buckner, but from him the only surprise is that we actually have a new album. Utterly phenomenal stuff.