And Sage Francis gets single of the week with 'Sea Lion' As I was saying - a classic year for Anticon types, although this one is of course released by Epitaph, as Sage is what you might call an alumni of his former label. Sage is PlayLouder's favourite poet, a man who can combine weakness and strength in a way that Darius would give his left testicle to understand. A Healthy Distrust is Sage's forthcoming album, and this is the first single from it, on which he is joined by Will Oldham. Alias also makes an appearance. But Will Oldham and Sage Francis! It's a pairing so genius that it threatens to rival even the dream team of Germaine and Caprice, (who are not rumoured to be recording a duet any time soon). Will Oldham ventures in to add his croaky wail about a sea lion lying down and the force of a song lingering on, and then the spoken word of Sage follows, and a gentle glitch trips and skips over itself, replaced at times by a syncopated snare. It's a gently exquisite record, and the album made us all glad to be alive when it first graced the bandaged-up cassette recorders or PlayLouder Towers. No more bling. Lots more brain. Let us, as Sage suggests, study how sea lions swim in cursive.