Cass McCombs, ‘Wit’s End’ (Domino)
A loner nomad with a knack for canny poetry, soft arrangements, and crawling tempos, Cass McCombs seems like an anachronism. Wit’s End is even more hushed and sluggish than 2009’s Catacombs, leaving lighter Dylanesque fare for depressive Leonard Cohen depths. The yearning piano plinking of”Saturday Song” could pass for the theme to a ’40s noir flick. The harpsichord-limned “Buried Alive” is everything its title suggests. Even the soulful soft-rocker “County Line” moves at a deliberate lope, but the velvet-voiced songwriter isn’t worried about pacing. He’s aiming for timeless.