Saturday, 3 December 2011
Review: King's Daughters And Sons
King's Daughters And Sons - If Then Not When (Chemikal Underground)
What a heady mix of songs and styles this smart and beautiful album is. Listening to it makes you triumphantly woozy because you found it first and not one of your mates has a clue what they’re missing - you know exactly what I mean. I was initially transfixed by the sheer beauty of the penultimate track, "Lorelei", an extraordinary piece of music that seems to exist in a mesmerizing haze, and ends in a free flowing, intoxicating jam. Hearing that single track for the first time opened up an album (just eight songs) that will surely prove to be one of the musical highlights of 2011.
It’s a very cohesive mix of varied sounds and tempo. The eight minutes of "The Anniversary" starts with a freewheeling guitar and folk-heavy vocals, before developing a graceful piano led middle section, as the story unfolds, and then the jam begins. It subsides just as readily, without actually disappearing altogether, to allow the vocals to complete the tale with clarity; the last minute and a half, though, again belongs to the free-playing musicians. It’s followed by a weathered instrumental, "A Storm Kept Them Away" - parched rather than drenched – it’s a fluid a piece of Calexico inspired post-rock. "Volunteer" follows, and it’s a slow tempo, deeply pretty song that could happily grace a Jagjaguar release, or feature in the wonderful world of Jason Molina.
“Open Sky” ends the album with a three minute guitar chug, a cross between Neil Young and Red House Painters, with the ghost of Rainer Ptacek in the wings. Before the chug, we have the song, a glowing coal of dark words, sung with a slightly chilling boy / girl harmony. Highly recommended for the lone desert wolf lover, and anyone else, actually.