27 August 2008

But, like, he sounds like a girl?

Jeff Hanson: Madam Owl

Jeff Hanson’s latest album is soft and melodic, but filled with sharp contrast. Which, I guess, it’s a contrast in itself. Twisting, lilting violin refrains sliced by sharp, harsh string sounds. An Eastern European atmosphere, of caravans traveling through dense woods, shattered by januty banjos. And his voice. Soft and high and sweet like a girl’s, but with an unbending vein of bravado filled masculinity running through its core.

Listening to ‘Madam Owl’ you can never relax. It’s ‘Bon Iver-ish’ vibe might try and lull you, but that sense of conflict is too strong. And it’s not a bad thing. It’s like those early photographs, of the stiff backed people in stiff clothes with stiff faces. They’re vaguely unsettling, but damn if they don’t have something that modern snapshots lack.

Jeff Hanson - Night.mp3
Jeff Hanson - If Only I Knew.mp3

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