A well-timed January album.
I didn’t know this one was coming, but NPR First Listen clued me in. And on “first listen” my first thought was a comparison to Jim James. Both albums set a really good mood for January – uplifting, thoughful, creative, filled with wonder – though I doubt this one will stay with me all year like Jim’s did. It’s not as stark and has fewer high-contrast points as compared with Regions of Light Sound of Gods, so I like it less, but it still fits the bill for a really awesome January record.
It has the haunting vocals, understated instrumental folksy backing, lots of life and energy in intermittent electronic bleeps and boops. The album’s second track “Silver Timothy” sounds like “Fly Like An Eagle” airiness tempered with an “Only Living Boy In New York” introspective feel. What might be a regurgitation of his previous work becomes a little more lively with deep sustaining electric drones and clacking percussion ala Josh Ritter’s “Rattlin’ Locks” about midway through.
Damien’s voice often makes me a little too depressed and tired to really enjoy his songs overall, but with this release it sounds like he’s made an effort to augment the traditional singer-songwriter schtick with lots of inventive musicality.
The album’s release is set for Tuesday the 21st.