Label: Not Not Fun
Named for a familial forested retreat on Wisconsin’s Shell Lake, Scout Island is the vessel for Jungle Gym audio boss Jared Carrigan’s compact and compelling instrumental guitar vignettes. His latest, Laurentian Voyage, charts a rich trip down river through the North Woods of Minnesota and beyond, a formative landscape of his youth (recently revisited during Covidian isolation). The collection’s 19 tracks flow through twilight psych, sunset jangle, dockside devotionals, and whispering pines soft rock, a gallery of glimpses into scenes and seasons come and gone.
Lean guitar figures ripple, riff, refract, and reverberate, framed by filtered drum loops, organ, synth, or bass. The mood softly sways between reverie and reflection but skews more autumnal as it unfolds, a sense of waning warmer days, a paler shade of light, campfires long since lit. Even so, the embers of memory cast their own warmth: faces, cabins, summers, music drifting out across the water. The clarity of fleeting moments, captured in snippets of strings and melody, slicing through choppy waves like the nose of a boat towards distant lightning.