JOEY CAPE: Stitch Puppy: CD

In all likelihood, the Venn diagram of people who read Razorcake and people who are familiar with Joey Cape’s body of work just looks like a single circle, so you’ve probably already made up your mind about Stitch Puppy. For established fans of Cape’s previous solo efforts, his newest release pushes the formula forward, showcasing songs that are more ambitious and mature—and arguably darker—without sacrificing the gentle melodies and quiet introspection that have become his trademark. For those who’ve yet to be seduced by his siren song, the previously unseen instrumental diversity present on the third full-length may offer the nudge you’ve been waiting for. Stitch Puppy features piano provided by Brian Wahlstrom and cello by Serina Chang, as well as guest vocals from Flatliners frontman Chris Cresswell, who previously recorded a release with Cape for his session label, One Week Records, and Useless ID’s Yotam Ben Horin, who is an acclaimed solo artist in his own right. Cape’s acoustic releases have always felt deeply introverted, and the presence of more collaborators helps Stitch Puppy explore its themes of melancholy and atmospheres without ever spiraling into hopelessness.

 –Kelley O’Death (Fat Wreck Chords, fatwreck.com)