Austerity Measures is the second full-length release from Liam Betson (FKA Liam the Younger). While 2014's The Cover of Hunter saw Betson stake his claim in the songwriter-and-band idiom, Austerity Measures instead employs more adventurous methods of delivery for his imaginative lyrics. Neither a throwback nor an invention from whole cloth, the album fluctuates between synthesizer-inflected pop tunes and sparse arrangements of voice and guitar. It is equal parts Chelsea Girl and Apocalypse, girl, while remaining firmly grounded in Betson's own sensibilities and idiosyncrasies as a songwriter.
Produced by Jonathan LeBlanc in Toronto, ON, Canada and mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk. Pro-dubbed cassette tape with lyric booklet in a clear fold-over poly bag.
"Where there is an œuvre, there is no madness."
The point is to give some order to thoughts. To excavate memory, speech, identity, history. Sometimes approaching things unreasonably, obliquely, or simply against common sense can help. A strange order can help.
The point is to keep yourself entertained, and to do so cheaply. Writing poems outside the grocery store, cross-legged on the parquet, playing music with a child's toy, recording the results in an apartment above a Hungarian restaurant. See the mice scurry amongst pastries left in the window overnight.
So there's the joke about austerity. Setting limits to boost growth. Harper Lee had a regular booth at McDonald's. There is something about the phrase "living deliberately" which sticks in my mind. The only compliment I've received that really made me blush was that I choose my words carefully.
If somewhere the question is asked, "What was 2014-2016?" then this is my infinitesimal contribution to its answer. I am politically and historically located. And however impossible it feels, or may actually be, to pinpoint the significance of this body and this location, or to understand my role as an actor, perhaps these songs will help convey the love and hope I often feel, despite my ignorance.