Daughn Gibson: Carnations (SubPop)

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Daughn Gibson: Back With the Family
Daughn Gibson: Carnations (SubPop)

Gibson from Pennsylvania has been getting some stick internationally for this, his third album.

But presuming few if any here heard his previous soulfully dark-voiced outings we come to this fresh and it's an odd but interesting one, sometimes like widescreen Bowie around Station to Station, at others finding its feet in post-New Wave goth-pop or Depeche Mode.

It could be accused of being pretentiously arty in its orchestrations, slow portentousness and somewhat shapeless diversity (there are also echoes of Scott Walker and prog-rock embellishments which might have come from Tangerine Dream), but still there's something quite engaging here.

Gibson's attention to the sonic breadth of the arrangements for synth'n'strings, horns, piano and pedal steel guitar, the sweep and swoon of the complete package and the unexpected nature of it carry this along, often in unexpected musical directions.

Lyrically he explores some dark stuff (the opener is Bled to Death, later there's a mental patient trying to come back to the world on Daddy I Cut My Hair) but they never quite sound convincing, despite the Walker-like delivery.

So, uneven for sure and perhaps too referential, but also strangely compelling. It's been getting more airtime than a first hearing suggested it might.

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Jos - Aug 4, 2015

Yeah I like him. :)

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