REVIEW: Zookeeper – “Conclusions”
by Chad Jewett
“Conclusions,” the new single from Zookeeper — aka Chris Simpson of Mineral – is a crisp, spare tract of folk music, a stark minimalist left turn from the grand, outsized melodrama of Mineral or the florid wall-of-sound that was The Gloria Record. Consisting of little more than an acoustic guitar set atop a broad cello harmony, the song is lovely and naturalistic with Simpson finding a melody simpler (and thus, more striking) than the winding, humid stuff that powered EndSerenading, for instance. The song’s lyrics, concerned with the blinders of familiarity, might as well be talking about the ways in which Simpson has constantly zigged away from previous zags, from romanticist emo through orchestral indie pop to the spartan arrangements to be found here. Indeed, the singer-songwriter milks an impressive pun out the phrase “draw your conclusions,” making a point both about how we make up our minds too quickly, and about how we too often overlay those ideas in permanent ink. “Conclusions” is minimalist and perhaps even humble, but its also striking and poignant.