Saturday, April 28, 2012

Daughn Gibson - All Hell (2012)

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The past couple days I've been let down when I come home from work and expect to have missed something monumentally epic - musically speaking. It's possible that I'm just not looking in the right places or maybe music  news has really been that slow lately. And yet tonight I came home to find a stray tweet from ARMS' Todd Goldstein stating he'd be opening up for Daughn Gibson in May. After about a two month live show drought that was news to my ears. But who was Daughn Gibson? I certainly was intrigued but I could tell I wasn't going to dig, there were, to me, more pressing matters to attend to. And then I saw that Jeff of Secret Moutains praised the album today as well. Schedule cleared, Daughn Gibson was my first and only priority.

Daughn Gibson is from Carlisle, Pennsylvania and very well may still reside there. I honestly have no clue. There's not too much I can tell you about Gibson and maybe that's for the best. What I can tell you is that his debut record All Hell is unlike anything I've heard before. You may hear that time and time again when someone's trying to sell you new release after new release of virtual unknowns but believe me when I tell you this: All Hell is new. All Hell is distinct, creative, and original. Beginning with "Bad Guys", it's not hard to see why Gibson has adopted country as his genre labeling of choice, simple bent note guitar riffs and a languorous drawl. The most unexpected thing about Gibson is deepness of his voice which becomes less of shock as you listen on. With "In the Beginning" you start to really get a taste at the turn the record will soon take - it's a lot poppier than the lead track, building on simplistic hymn-friendly piano chords before the entrance of funky beat makes it clear it's not going in that direction.   

Daughn Gibson has the sort of genre-blurring interplay that bands like Megafaun have more or less made a career of. There's a single genre label for the sake of ease but Gibson tests the very limits of it as mean of categorization. All Hell becomes bigger than genre. It's a series of songs with twists and turns you don't see coming even as you become more comfortable with the album. On All Hell, Gibson proves himself not only a skilled multi-instrumentalist (trading off on guitar and piano whenever he sees fit) but as a skilled manipulator - bending boundaries, foundations, and arranging samples in just the right way to keep you on your toes. And regardless of the textural soundscapes, Gibson's voice is clear as a bell, deep and reverberating and ultimately grounding. Even with the multitude of things going on around it, it is always the focus, the one point your ears have no trouble finding.  All Hell is astoundingly different, the result of a clearly  talented man with a host of ideas with enough sense to know how to properly use them. Gibson never overwhelms, instead allowing you to appreciate each moment as much as you like as his croons draw you toward where you need you to go.   

Get a taste of Daughn Gibson's rather eclectic style with some tracks from the album: 

Daughn Gibson's All Hell is out now on White Denim with a limited edition run of vinyl which you can order here. You can stream the album on Spotify

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