Thursday, August 19, 2010

Digging Now... Isobell Campebll & Mark Lanegan - 'Hawk'

One is a former singer and cellist with Belle and Sebastian. Another comes as the leading man in the Screaming Trees. As this Pitchfork review notes, you may not have guessed, but this combination works. It really, really works.

I decided to check out this duo's latest record, 'Hawk', yesterday after reading the afore-linked-to review, and already I think this could be one of those super underrated records that never really gets much of the attention it deserves, but really, really should. Perhaps one of the most criminally underrated records of the year.

What we have here is great combination of folk, blues, country and general rock-a-billy, rock & roll music. Much of the record rests squarely in the folk/country realm, with what I can only describe as blues sensibility mixed it, and you can tell these two have solid rock chops. It's not necessarily strict folk/country, despite first impressions, and that's probably because these two are experienced, talented and very different musicians.

To prove my point, I chose to post a video to the title-track, Hawk, above. Imagine yourself listening to a record that's been mostly folk-y and country sounding, with some forays more into rock, and then, halfway through, THIS distorted, bluesy freakout of an instrumental track hits you. With the chatter at the beginning, the screaming throughout, the horns, the heavy drums, the scratches and sounds mixed it, it sounds like someone gave the Blues Brothers some acid that night at the Palace Hotel Ballroom -- 106 miles from Chicago -- and said have at it, boys.

To be sure, Hawk is an anomaly, and the rest of the record fits into that folk/rock/country mold that Pitchfork review and I have mentioned. And the rest is really good too! But damn, that Hawk track. Do yourself a favor and check out the rest.

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