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With his elegant melodies, haunted vocal style, and dark, intense approach, singer/songwriter Cass McCombs could be seen as sort of a next-generation Elliott Smith. The Californian troubadour made his debut in 2002 with the EP NOT THE WAY, releasing his first full-length album the following year. McCombs is an inveterate traveler, and his peripatetic lifestyle has undoubtedly informed his music, inspiring songs about the struggle for connection. For his third album, 2008’s DROPPING THE WRIT, McCombs found himself on a new label (Domino), delivering his most fully realized, (relatively) accessible work to date.