Graham Reid | | 1 min read
For his first album of originals in
five years – the follow-up to his gripping Ghost Repeater –
this beardy and rustic Americana singer/songwriter ups the stakes as
his strong, dark brown and assured voice takes on life, loss and love
in iron-hard images which bring to mind Leonard Cohen (“strange
birds on the fence line, it's going to get cold tonight”) or Tom
Waits (“the great machines were dying, the slavers rust away”).
He marries these to memorable folk-rock and country-touched melodies with a fine band which includes Van Dyke Parks on accordion and Hammond, and sometimes stinging electric guitar from Eric Heywood (Pretty Girl in a Small Town sears out of the speakers in its closing passages).
Elsewhere he deliver
melodies which wouldn't alarm Eagles fans (Starlight and Static,
Passerines) but with lyrics which have a sense of Neil Young's
On the Beach-era foreboding (“a winter night, a hundred
crows flying down the valley”). Or drops down to fireside
melancholy about the passing of love (Heart to Husk), or the
great mystery of life (Idaho).
Foucault sounds old world (“tea and tobacco, whiskey from a tin cup”) yet contemporary (“everybody's broken heart is shining like a new TV”) and – like a young Steve Earle – hooks you.
Despite those name checks, Foucault is his own man.
And quite special.
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