Max Bien Kahn first made an appearance on our site two years ago with his Max and the Martians project. His return is a glorious one. When I Cross It Off is released under his full name, even though a lot of the Martians also contributed to the record, like Esther Rose, Ross Farbe and Ray Micarelli (Video Age), and Duff Thompson (The Lostines) – the latter also doing a lot of technical aspects of the recording. The album was recorded in 2019 and 2020, which leds me to believe that is was recorded around the same time as his 2021 All The Same record with the Martians. When I Cross It Off sure has a similar feel to it. It is a life-affirming record.
The album title refers to The List, a song about how easy it is to add and how great it feels to cross something off your list. It’s just one example how Max Bien Kahn makes the mundane sound poetic. He doesn’t need a lot of words to evoke a story or induce a feeling with his songs. It’s almost effortless. Helped out by gorgous arrangements, When I Cross It Off is a generous record that can be appreciated upon multiple levels.
Out now through Mashed Potato Records (LP) and Perpetual Doom (Tape).