Album: DM Stith, Heavy Ghost, (Asthmatic Kitty)
Bleakly oblique: this album will haunt you beyond its end
Sunday 08 March 2009
David Michael Stith is descended from a long line of music academics and choir conductors, and grew up in an "intensely religious" and musical Indiana family.
Mentored by Sufjan Stevens, who signed Stith to his Asthmatic Kitty label, DM Stith has released a debut album which is arcane and esoteric from the off, a record that knows more than it's letting on. Stith's music, made with cellos and pianos but also the creaking of wooden doors, has the uncomfortable intimacy of Antony and the Johnsons (to whom he is often compared), but also the baroque strangeness of Bowie in his Brechtian Baal phase. Heavy Ghost conjures the woozy, illogical and episodic feel of nightmares, a mood that haunts you beyond its end. The closest thing to a sunny pop song is "Morning Glory Cloud"; the rest is as bleak as it is oblique. It's also the only album this year that will use the word "oblation". It is, in Stith's own words, "a misty light, imprecise and still, from a jagged bright sickle moon".
Pick of the album: Lunar eclipse: 'Thanksgiving Moon'
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Downton Abbey series 5: George Clooney to try and kiss Dowager Countess in charity Christmas special
Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
Exodus: Gods and Kings banned in the UAE for 'religious mistakes'
Doctor Who and the BBC 'promoting a gay agenda', viewers complain
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk