Songs Cormac McCarthy Taught Me

Posted by Jason Diamond

There are specific albums that lend themselves to certain seasons.  I love nearly everything John Fahey ever did, but his music has more of an effect on me in the autumn; Things We Lost in the Fire by Low is my go to “Hey, it’s snowing outside” record. For summer, I’ve got about a dozen records that fit the hotter months of the year, but Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method by Earth is probably the one I find myself spending most of my time listening to (Although, this summer has seen a huge spike in Play it Strange by The Fresh & Onlys).

When people ask me what the album sounds like, my first response is to ask if they’re familiar with Neil Young’s soundtrack for the Jim Jarmusch film, Dead Man.  Eight times out of ten, the answer is no (which is a crime.  I think Dead Man is one of Jarmusch’s finest movies), and so I resort to example #2, which is, “Have you read any Cormac McCarthy?”  The answer to this is more likely to be a yes.

I don’t know exactly when or where it became common knowledge that the “comeback” album of the pioneering drone doom band from Seattle/my favorite summer album was influenced heavily by McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, (aside from the artwork) but after I spent a portion of last summer reading the book while only listening to Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method, I’m unable to peel the two works apart in my head.


  1. Love this record. Listened to it a bunch while working on Lowboy. Creepy Hicky pickins!