"The One Light"
The very first line about swans making their way before night and just before the moon becomes the one light...it's that kind of imagery that you can't manufacture, it takes a real combination of musician and writer, of which this family has been blessed in spades to not just get away with this but elevate it to something bigger than the sum of it's parts.
It also sounds informed by real folk music, the kind that's passed down, sung at every kind of family get together through generations. Maybe it's the slight echo, it's not hard to imagine some kind of holy place where this song has been performed for years and this just happens to be one of the many interpretations.
It's beautifully recorded acoustic and when he lays on the layers of harmonized vocals with just a few notes of bass it's hard to imagine it getting any better.
"Black Dick Pierce"
The thing is, you catch yourself hearing little familiar phrasings or even lyrics and can't help but wonder about this family...it makes sense they would grow up literally sounding the same but
brothers can be so different. I remember being as surprised seeing Palace or I guess Will Oldham was going on tour with his brothers for the Drag City Review at Tramps in '95. They passed around a bottle of Jack Daniels on stage, and I wished my family played CCR songs on acoustic guitars on my front porch. There's that vulnerability in his voice, like Townes Van Zandt, it comes with an inherent authenticity, and he uses every register to
"If Tomorrow Comes Again"
I love this unexpected bass that's meant for the speaker cone push of vinyl, right there the track takes on an epic feel with just a few notes....you're doing yourself a disservice if you only ever hear this on computer speakers. Ned's got a different vocal quality on this one, it's higher in the mix, a little raspier while the twangy fingerpicked acoustic is joined by harmonica and deeper layers of electric. It's turned all the way up to hear every nuance, and that's where he sucks you in for a heartbreaking finish.
This sleeve art from Kevin Earl Taylor is just twisting the knife in deeper, those hands coming out of the dark water and the swans not knowing any better, living their lives. It feels like people have to destroy everything in their own way. Sometimes you lie in bed at night and if you start to think about all the innocent creatures in the world stuck out in the cold, or in the thunderstorms, no where to go....it just makes you want to cry.
Pressed on dark blue clear vinyl, with digital download code, get it on Gold Robot Records.
This 3 song EP is the first solo release by Ned Oldham. Recorded in Baltimore at the Blue Third Floor and released as a limited edition 7" record on colored vinyl, these are the latest recordings from the ringleader of The Anomoanon and assorted other projects. The EP, titled Let's Go Out Tonight, carries a lot of weight in the 3 songs; though steeped in Americana and folk traditions, the tracks showcase Ned's penchant for bitter/bright lyrics and beautiful compositions.
A1: Ned Oldham - The One Light [mp3]
A2: Ned Oldham - Black Dick Pierce
B1: Ned Oldham - If Tomorrow Comes Again