As we consider Juan Solorzano’s mesmerizing debut record Time Machine, let’s talk a bit about time — a fluid and impermeable concept that runs throughout the album.
First off, you will be excused feeling robbed that the eight track LP runs for a trim 23 minutes. While it is a complete effort and a fully fleshed out record, I am left after each fresh listen wanting more time with it. More and longer time to submerge myself in the densely layered songs and hushed, opaque lyrics.
Second, this is a sonically nostalgic record. Each time I listen to the opening chords of Take It From Me, the second single off the album (and my favorite cut), I am transported backward in time. Nowhere specific, mind you. Just a whiff of recollection.
There are influences of 70s folk throughout (a bit of Nick Drake), hints of laid back vintage California/West Coast sounds (a bit of Brian Wilson; a touch of Eagles–in a good way!); and even a spaghetti western nod or two. And yet, in the same moment, the record does not feel at all dated or contrived. More modern sonic references abound (Sufjan Stevens; Josh Rouse; a strong link to “Fresh Feeling” era Eels), but the palette of sweeping soundscapes, swelling strings, warped synths, achingly bent guitar lines, and reverb vocals are thoroughly Solorzano’s.
Third, Solorzano’s lyrics ping-pong back-and-forth across years and memories. Time Machine feels like both a coming of age album — contemplating lost loves, flawed romance, youthful mistakes, and misguided adventuring — and an old soul spinning yarns.
This is a lush, expansive, and beautifully produced album — made all the more remarkable by the fact that Juan Solorazno (a veteran sideman and producer in the bustling Nashville music scene) produced, engineered, and played most of the instruments on it in his bedroom over the course of a year in between tours and playing for other artists. Kind of makes you question what you’re doing with your own time, doesn’t it?
I sincerely hope this is just the first album of a budding solo career and that there will be opportunities for Solorzano to tour on and create more of his own music. But, for now, follow him below and immerse yourself in this great record.