The opening track from David Thomas Broughton's forthcoming new album, Outbreeding, River Lay is one of those rare songs that, like Bruce Springsteen or Nick Cave at their storytelling best, says more in five minutes than some people have written in novels. A dark, sparse yet simultaneously orchestral song, it marches at a gloomy funereal pace, starting with just Broughton's deep, soulful and emotional vocals and a guitar line, before gradually picking up in pace and instrumentation, as subtle layer after subtle layer is gently placed on top of the ever-evolving song.
The obvious comparison to make is with Antony And The Johnsons, and, certainly, on vocal style alone, Broughton and Hegarty could easily be distant cousins. But whereas the latter is given to grandiose arrangements, Broughton's are more grounded, rooted in the tradition of dark, autumnal, earthy folk. As the song progresses, however, that tradition is subverted by the electronic glitches that permeate the track and then, right at the end, take it over completely in a powerful, self-destructive denouement.
The accompanying video - premiering here on Qthemusic.com - is directed by Sonny Malhotra. One has been made for each song on the album and this one is as visually engaging as the song is stirring. Has stop motion ever been so poignant? Possibly not...
Words: Mischa Pearlman
EXCLUSIVE BONUS TRACK OF THE DAY: Download DTB's song Ain't Got No Sole for free here.
11:42 AM | 19/05/2011
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