Photo: Robbie Jeffers

Big Thief’s Buck Meek delivers the transcendent daydream “Pareidolia”

Buck Meek, guitarist and co-songwriter in Big Thief, is releasing a new solo album called Two Saviors on January 15. Following on from “Second Sight”, which was shared last month, comes the album’s opening track “Pareidolia”. It’s a word that many of us probably aren’t familiar with, even though it’s something we all do – seeing images of things that aren’t really there, like in clouds or the way light beams through branches. Buck explains further:

“We have all painted forms onto the clouds; a phoenix, a fire truck, snakes, Elvis, and so on. We saw these visions as children, we encourage children to search for them, and we can’t help but continue to project meaning and symbolism onto the sky, to see mountains in moving water, faces in knots in wood, hidden messages in music, and god in toast. Pareidolia is a phenomenon which threads mundane experiences such as staring at the ceiling in the morning with the seeds of mythology and spirituality. The physical world is inherently limited, but our minds take every possible opportunity to transcend.”

“Pareidolia”, for the most part, is simply Buck staring at the clouds and listing images he sees there: a baby, a cotton-mouth swallowing its tail, Lady Guadalupe with an airplane in her hand. Buck’s simple but tasteful alt-country stylings of acoustic intertwined with twinkling keys supports this whimsical and carefree idea perfectly. You could easily get lost in the clouds he describes, but the latter part of “Pareidolia” finds him delving into actual memories, and the images therein are just as arresting – but coming from a deeper emotional place. The track speaks to the mind’s ability to get lost within labyrinths of thought, and how this can lead to an even deeper contemplation of something that at first seemed trivial – and Buck’s playing and arrangements are the perfect vessel to guide you on your own voyage into the recesses of your emotional memory.

Buck Meek’s new album Two Saviors arrives on January 15 via Keeled Scales. You can find him on Facebook, Bandcamp, Twitter and Instagram.