This is my first exposure to the music of Jason Honea, working here under the unfortunate moniker- The Shitty Listener. A little digging shows that Honea was one of the founding Jewelled Antler guys and worked alongside Loren Chasse and Glenn Donaldson in several projects based around that incredibly fertile collective. Well, that's a pretty outstanding pedigree in my opinion, and a lot of the Jewelled Antler environmental sensibilities are present in "Crying Sweater", but in a manner that is unique to Honea's own aesthetic.
When the disc starts I'm immediately struck by the strange intimacy of the recording. The listener seems to be floating through the music as it is being played- bumping into objects and people, putting an ear to a wall to hear what's happening in the next room, or even leaning over to listen to a faint whisper. The songs on "Crying Sweater" combine melodic sensibilities with pure field recording abstraction and lo-fidelity textural investigations- a simple keyboard line morphs into a wall of clicks and hiss, mumbled snippets of conversations swirl through a tin can, a half remembered song from a dream is recited into a dying tape recorder, guitars strum through shifting walls of feedback, everything falls apart and is put back to together again.
These songs feel as if they are built from incidental tape player synchronicities that make connections and then destroy them just in time. The greatest strength of The Shitty Listener is the ability he has to make these things seem intimate and surprising without feeling the least bit forced. The music is not over-edited, and it almost exists on its own plane entirely. Things can occasionally meander a bit too long in underwhelming territory, but if you stick around long enough the parts come together to create moments of subtle beauty. 8/10 -- Charles Franklin (9 December, 2009)