Friday, July 18, 2014

Dark Americana Briefs, Volume 16

Kristian Harting: Float (2014)
4 out of 5 stars

I wasn't quite sure whether to include this as a dark Americana entry, because there's very little Americana in it. But in spirit, Kristian Harting is much the European equivalent. Aside from acoustic guitar and his wonderful voice, he also uses echo effects, synths, and some distorted electric guitar to create a blend that's as much Hexvessel 60's psych-folk as it is dark singer-songwriter. And it's quite catchy, too.

Vic Chesnutt: Skitter on Take-Off (2009)
3.5 out of 5 stars

If you've got one friend who rubbed his penis on TV's actual Wheel of Fortune, then this record is for you. Actually, that's a line out of the one sort-of-funny song on this otherwise extremely dark, depressing album. Unlike North Star Deserter, 2009's Skitter on Take-Off is much more stripped-down--it's almost all man-and-guitar--and for my money it suffers for that. But Vic Chesnutt knew how to write a song, and how to bring everyone down.

Harm Wülf: There's Honey in the Soil So We Wait for the Till (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

Harm Wülf sounds kind of like an acoustic solo project, and so it is, the project of one G. Hirsch from some hardcore band I've never heard of, because I don't follow hardcore. It's a stark, threatening style of acoustic with vocals that remind me of Scott Kelly. It's interesting and unique, but despite a few promising compositions (see "Spectrum Blues" or the title track) it's mostly not as good as I feel it could be. But if it improves anything like Scott Kelly has since his first solo acoustic record, then this is a band to watch.


  1. That Kristian Hartig album came out in January, February, or March of this year, depending on your locale. (As if staggered international release dates weren't silly enough, someone had to release one in three different months.)

    And I have "Queen of the Highway" stuck deep in my head. Great find!

    1. Thanks for that, I fixed it. I sometimes write that in as a placeholder if the data isn't tagged on the iTunes and I would have to look it up, and then on occasion I miss it when I'm posting.