Steve Gunn: Way Out Weather

On the title track to Steve Gunn's superb new LP, cascading guitar and soaring lap steel roll out gently, like the tide he describes: "Waves are crashing calm and free/Slowly moves the melody." Backed by a seven-piece band, he layers his songs with instrumentation that reveals more each time, from the freeform instrumental jam of "Milly's Garden" to the extended syncopated rhythm of "Tommy's Congo." Gunn – known to fans for his masterful guitar work, and more recently for a brief stint as Kurt Vile's touring guitarist – feels like he's refined his approach from last year's word-of-mouth breakthrough Time Off. He's often thought of more as an instrumental virtuoso than a singer-songwriter, but here he excels at both.