Premiere: Andrew Rinehart, ‘Sight Unseen’

Andrew Rinehart

Songwriting chameleon Andrew Rinehart has worked in many different locales in many different genres, plumbing his fertile imagination to take listeners on wild rides through life’s ecstasy, agony and irony, all filtered through his distinctly outsider’s perspective.

He last released a full-length in 2015 — “Nothing/Everything” (to frame it for Todd Rundgren fans) was more “A Wizard a True Star” than “Something/Anything.” And his varied singles since range from giddy (last year’s “Rose Gold”) to subversively wacky (“Interdimensional Nonconversational Inconsequential Love”) to exceedingly moving (all nine minutes of “They Say”).

All of which only partly prepares you for the Louisville native’s new single “Sight Unseen,” out today. It’s a fever dream, gently undulating and even more gently produced by Ben Schwab (Drugdealer/Golden Daze). With its understated orchestration, the tune’s seemingly stream-of-consciousness lyrics cast a melancholy shadow.

Rinehart sheds some light on the narrative: “‘Sight Unseen’ was cherry-picked from whatever fragmented memories I was having in the final few months of 2019: flashbacks from an extremely turbulent plane flight (people yelling ‘we’re gonna die!,’ my neighbor, a stranger, holding my hand mid-panic attack), recollections from a specific foggy night’s walk alone, bits and pieces from my last romantic entanglement, a smattering of childhood memories (my brother and I fighting over the family cookie tin) and a slight variation on a frightening story a friend recently told me — about how she had discovered her father dead out in her backyard as a kid.”

||| Stream: “Sight Unseen”

||| Live: Andrew Rinehart performs at the Alibi in Palm Springs on March 6. He also plays the rooftop at the Ace Hotel on March 11.

||| Previously: “Rose Gold”