Justin Wright 
A Really Good Spot 

Beacon Sound • 2022

On A Really Good Spot, Justin Wright’s surging melodies bring moments of unbridled joy to mind.

Last year I came to understand the secret to being happy: it’s doing stuff. Like, leaving your home and going places and meeting up with your friends and working hard every day so you don’t just sit on your couch. It’s discovering a really good spot and then bringing the people you love to it. 

If cellist and composer Justin Wright’s previous album Music for Staying Warm was a record made to be your companion as you sit, think, and be sad, A Really Good Spot is for seeking out happiness. The opening title track and the following “Hellbrunn Automatons” immediately cast the album in this beaming light as Wright’s surging melody brings moments of joy to mind: riding your bike down a steep hill and lifting your feet off of the pedals; running towards a friend you haven’t seen in years; jumping off a dock and plunging into freezing waters. “The Pines Memorial Sample Pack” is decidedly less buoyant sounding, but amongst the quiet drone, there is a continuous shuffle – the din of progress. 

Even when things sound tense or uncertain, like during the anxious heights of “​​A View from the Drone Garden,” there is happiness on A Really Good Spot because Wright welcomed it into the creative process. When composing the album, Wright says that he had “so much fun coming up with new methods for writing,” and the resulting tracks are playful and spontaneous. Wright blends restless strings and electronics with cassette loops, field recordings, and voices of friends like Thanya Iyer, ​​AP Bergeron (Year of Glad), and John Guliak. On “We’re Still Here,” a cello and voice duet between Iyer and Wright, Iyer repeats “Just keep going,” which encourages the pair to freely explore their respective instruments in tandem. It’s utterly delightful. And then the track dissolves with the sound of Iyer’s laughter.

[Sending you strength and lots of healing vibes, Justin!]

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