BüRstner and the baby, 2013
Slow Dakota's second album, Bürstner and the Baby, arrived in September of 2013, as he began his third year at Columbia. The album was written in New York, Paris, and Indiana, and Sauerteig recorded the album in the same Indiana house he recorded Our Indian Boy. While its instrumentation is remarkably simple, Bürstner and the Baby contains Sauerteig's most acclaimed, ingenious lyrics. And like Slow Dakota's first album, Bürstner is also a concept album: its seven songs alternate a dialogue between a young mother and her unborn fetus. The album is structured as a conversation between these two characters (taking obvious cues from The Book of Job, in the Old Testament). Brass ensembles and drums flesh out compositions based almost entirely in piano, ukulele, and voice.
The album received very little attention when it was released in 2013; but over time it's attracted several glowing reviews. England's Calliope Magazine, for example, praised it as "elaborate and remarkable... You'll be a different person by the end of it." And in 2015, PopMatters published a review hailing Bürstner as "the concept album of the decade" - by exploring its use of allegory, meta-textual critique, allusion, and theory. For all that Bürstner packs in, the album is only a brief 22 minutes long: you can download it for free, here.