I think I may have just found my album of the year. Earlier this week,
I promised you that I’d tell you about some great dark tunes that can
be currently be heard on heavy rotation on my stereo.
And when I say heavy, I mean heavy.
Soulsavers’ latest offering Broken is by no means an easy listen, but
it’s one of the most atmospheric, haunting and downright brilliant
records I’ve heard in a long time.
The third album from the English production duo of Rich Machin and Ian
Glover sees them reunited with gloom-monger Mark Lanegan (Screaming
Trees, Queens of The Stone Age) who lends his whiskey-soaked and
nicotine-ravaged vocals to the majority of songs.
Sheffield baritone Richard Hawley also puts in as appearance, as does
Jason Pierce (Spiritualized), Mike Patton (Faith No More) and Gibby
Haynes (Butthole Surfers).
Yep, it’s one hell of a (funeral) party, soundtracked by sinister
pysche-rock, sombre ballads,edgy trip-hop and spiritual soul and
gospel. It’s both unsettling and beautiful. You Will Miss Me When I
Burn, written by Will Oldham, is a piano and strings lament, with
Lanegan crooning, “When you have no-one, no-one can hurt you.” If it
doesn’t move you, then truly you do not have a heart.
The twilight country shuffle of Shadows Fall (with Hawley on backing
vocals) is one of the highlights – all Midnight Cowboy harmonica and
‘weeping’ strings, while Pharoah’s Chariot (with Pierce) is a deathly
Nick Cave-esque track – with a mournful orchestral arrangement and
murderous twangin’ guitar. There’s also an epic take on Gene Clark’s
Some Misunderstanding, with some ragged Neil Young-style riffing.
Sometimes when I’m playing Broken I have an unsettling feeling that
maybe I’m listening to the sort of music that serial killers have on
their headphones when they’re going about their business.
Then to lighten the mood, I just look at the sleevenotes; ‘Recorded in
Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Sydney &
Stoke-on-Trent’. . .
Listen on Spotify here: http://open.spotify.com/album/2B5gjVqJC2RzNUXgQgqkDt