Friday, May 18, 2012
Kill Country - Good Saints split - self released
Got a nice note from the guys in Kill Country, out of Lincoln, NE letting me know about this single they put together with the Good Saints which features one James Toth, who is a guy I've seen constantly popping up on various labels single's from PIAPTK to The Great Pop Supplement and have mentioned before on the site as far back as 2007.
Kill Country is a seven piece folk ensemble and their track, "Brown Lee" has a quiet intensity about it... the creaking of a chair, the bedroom room roll of a brush snare...all the rest of the instrumentation slowly joining in. Full of layers of a quietly recorded group of acoustics and their real crazy strong changes that seem to come out of nowhere, a slide banjo, even possibly some slow piano strikes way off in the back, but the center of this showdown on the plains is Josh James who is gifted with a unique, rough as hell, baritone vocal. Like Mark Lannegan with such a gravely, high plains drawl the lyrics barely register with meaning, once you start decoding this real sorrow, it just leads further down into sadness. The sort of person that doesn't need to raise their voice, when they have something to say you'd better listen, to horses, hands and hearts. I always think about this Will Oldham style, Giant Sand kind of country music that's going on as representing that genre, and god forbid forget about Miley Cyrus or who knows what else isn't even country.
The B-Side from Good Saints, is entitled "Texas Moan" and it always gets me, especially here when you listen to these back to back, how you can work with the same instruments and end up with such an incredibly different sound, a completely unique room, and this vocal here is full of youth and optimism, even hope. The acoustics and fingerpicking comes in slow waves working with real distinct harmonies. There's a big emotional style vocally against this melancholy instrumentation that reminds me of Jason Molina and Songs:Ohio with an incredible acoustic slide solo...I know that sounds silly, but the delivery of this one is truly unique, an inspired unhinged soul sound. It' a real love song about the memory of this woman, feet on dashboards, the fading photo memories of those moments:
Shame on you texas / for letting her go
Screen printed by Doe Eyed design on textured cardstock and pressed an olive green vinyl...a real handmade affair, they went all out.