ALBUM REVIEW: Daughn Gibson | Me Moan

by Chris Familton

Rating8square-600-3On his debut album Daughn Gibson painted a fascinating world soundtracked by Americana, electronica and gothic balladry. The artwork for that album was subdued black and white and fittingly, in line with the music within, the cover of Me Moan is a darker themed explosion of pink and purple sexual and religious imagery.

Gibson has taken the basic musical premise of All Hell and expanded it into darker corners with more elaborate composition and instrumentation. He also takes more risks. The most unsettling of these is the way he plays with his vocals, both his phrasing and the effects that at times bury his voice under layers of pitch changes and reverb. On the glitch-laden kraut-goth The Right Signs the words are consumed by the treatments he adds to them making it sound like Depeche Mode on half speed – a strange idea that works surprisingly well. Elsewhere he plays it straight on the excellent You Don’t Fade and instead uses other voices to build a patchwork choir that sounds half human, half synth. Aside from his voice there are a wealth of ideas across the record. The Pisgee Nest in particular possesses a catchy moaning guitar line that conveys emotion as strongly as Gibson’s words.

The general mood of Me Moan places Gibson in the same realm as Jack Ladder, Kirin J Callinan and John Maus. It is partly due to their baritone voices but also their inventive, experimental approach to the cross-pollination of musical styles and a willingness to subvert and challenge the comfort level of the listener without sacrificing the essence of a great song. In the end it is still memorable melodies and rhythms that shine through on this endlessly fascinating album.

this review was first published in Drum Media and on The Music

 

LIST: DS Top Albums of 2012

2012 TOP ALBUMS

2012 felt like somewhat of a mixed bag of musical lollies with our favourites encompassing americana, power pop, 80s synth, indie and many shades of psychedelia. The only thing that tied them all together was the strong streak of melody that each was built on. Even in the case of someone like Neil Young & Crazy Horse it was Young’s incredible weaving of musical notes on Old Black that made that record such a delight. Hopefully there will be a few surprises scattered across our list which will send you down another musical rabbit hole to find out if we are onto something… Hopefully we are.

30-21

20-11

10-1

square-600-11Charlie Horse – I Hope I’m Not A Monster

square-600-16Deep Sea Arcade – Outlands

LOWER PLENTYLower Plenty – Hard Rubbish

square-600-15Dinosaur Jr – I Bet On Sky

square-600-13Lee Ranaldo – Between The Times & The Tides

UnknownNeil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill

square-600-17Lawrence Arabia – The Sparrow

square-600Lambchop – Mr. M

square-600-14Suzy Connolly – Night Larks

square-600-12Father John Misty – Dear Fun

NEWS: Daughn Gibson signs to Sub Pop, releases new song

Daughn Gibson’s All Hell is one of our favourite albums of 2012. You can read our review HERE. The good news is he has just signed to Sub Pop and has also released a brand new song Reach Into The Fire which includes samples from An echo from the hosts that profess infinitum by Shabazz Palaces and Life on Earth and Slow Motion by Tiny Vipers, two of Gibson’s new labelmates.

ALBUM REVIEW: Daughn Gibson | All Hell

by C. Familton

Pennsylvania native Daughn Gibson is a new artist who has seemingly appeared fully formed out of nowhere. The most unique thing about his debut album is the way it morphs between different styles, often quite different realms such as country and soulful electronica but it somehow all hangs together wonderfully and as a result Gibson paints himself as a fascinating chameleon-like musician.

Possessing a deep and defiantly masculine voice, Gibson has the ability to frame it in rather sensitive surrounds. On the opening track Bad Guys he is the outlaw country crooner, almost Elvis like in the way he curls his baritone vowels. In the Beginning brings to mind our own Jack Ladder while Tiffany Lou has a distinct English bent akin to the artful indie guitar pop of Wild Beasts. The unifying factor is of course his voice and he isn’t afraid to experiment with it via the stuttering effects on Tiffany Lou or lay it open and bare like Johnny Cash on the late night jazz intoxication of A Young Girl’s World. There isn’t a weak track across the thirty minute album and squeezing such a wide range of songs onto it is a major achievement. Lookin’ Back On ’99 sounds like a lost Depeche Mode gem with its wobbly trip hop bass while Gibson introduces more experimental touches with static interjections on Dandelions and the ‘screaming in your face’ dynamics that kick off the closing title track that sound like Jim Morrison duetting with a goth band circa 1984.

As far as debut albums go this is up there with the best and though distinctly different it feels like an introduction to a impressive new talent in much the same way Bon Iver did with his debut.

this review was first published in Drum Media