The Haints of Dean Hall: The Haints of Dean Hall (Arch Hill)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Haints of Dean Hall: Wait 'til Your Father gets Home
The Haints of Dean Hall: The Haints of Dean Hall (Arch Hill)

This off-kilter and eerily dreamy slice of Americana from a conjured up "South" comes from an unexpected source: the Haints of Dean Hall are in fact Stephen Reay and singer/photographer Kathryn McCool, the former from the rowdy Flying Nun band the Subliminals and the latter who now lives near Melbourne.

A haint is an imagined ghost in Americas Southern states, and the brief understated songs here -- sung in an almost disembodied voice by McCool over spare guitar or what sounds like banjo -- certainly evoke spirits of the mysterious kind.

The detuned guitars which slip strangely between notes also add to the slightly disconcerting feel in a song cycle which suggests the strange and sometimes dark territory of Eudora Welty stories (and some local counterparts), an aura re-enforced by McCool's stark and emotionally still cover photos.

Proof that less can be so much more.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Sinead O'Connor: I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss (Nettwerk/Southbound)

Sinead O'Connor: I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss (Nettwerk/Southbound)

Too often in popular culture, controversy and craziness are substitutes for, or get in the way of us seeing, real talent. O'Connor has courted her share of both and that often blurred the focus... > Read more

James Reid: Saint (Broken Records)

James Reid: Saint (Broken Records)

It's a measure of the enmity some have towards the Feelers that when it was announced their singer-songwriter James Reid (no relation) had this solo album coming out that some took to Facebook to... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mette Henriette; Mette Henriette (ECM/Ode)

Mette Henriette; Mette Henriette (ECM/Ode)

This late-twentysomething Norwegian saxophonist announces herself with this impressive double CD debut, which is all the more interesting for the questions it raises. The first disc finds her... > Read more

ONLY IN AMERICA by MATT FREI: The country they hate to love

ONLY IN AMERICA by MATT FREI: The country they hate to love

Recently a well-known New Zealand columnist asked if, given the election of the new and popular president, it was possible to like America again. Perhaps the writer was being witty. But for many --... > Read more