In the beginning, Norfolk & Western was a project name given to the solo recordings of Oregon-based singer/songwriter Adam Selzer. Over the course of several albums, however, the project has developed into a proper band, and with A Gilded Age, it's not even entirely Selzer's show anymore.
Former Decemberists drummer Rachel Blumberg is Selzer's foil now, writing and singing her own sweet-natured indie-folk tunes. Blumberg's songs, as well as those he co-wrote with Selzer and bassist Dave Depper, boost the energy level of the album considerably; though a few songs, particularly the closing "A Voice Through the Wall," are in keeping with Selzer's familiar, haunted and skeletal acoustic tunes; most of A Gilded Age sounds remarkably like the peppy indie pop of Blumberg's former band. Utility Decemberist Chris Funk's varied contributions to these songs are probably a big part of that, as is the increased prominence of longtime keyboardist and accordion player Tony Moreno. Regardless, Selzer's reliably dark-edged lyrical sense and minor-key folkiness maintain a link to previous Norfolk & Western albums that keeps A Gilded Age from sounding like a calculated shift in musical focus.
|Porch Destruction / Adam Selzer||Norfolk & Western||6:00|
|A Gilded Age / Adam Selzer||Norfolk & Western||3:25|
|Watch the Days Slowly Fade / Adam Selzer||Norfolk & Western||3:33|
|There Are No Places Left for Us / Rachel Blumberg||Norfolk & Western||2:54|
|Minor Daughter / Rachel Blumberg||Norfolk & Western||3:08|
|Clyde & New Orleans / Rachel Blumberg / Dave Depper / Adam Selzer||Norfolk & Western||4:40|
|We Were All Saints / Rachel Blumberg / Dave Depper / Adam Selzer||Norfolk & Western||4:10|
|A Voice Through the Wall / Rachel Blumberg / Dave Depper / Adam Selzer||Norfolk & Western||6:52|
|A Gilded Age / Adam Selzer||Norfolk & Western|