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'
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
Church of Scientology allegedly sent threatening letters to film distributors and festivals showing damning documentary
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Contemporary art is a fraud, says top dealer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture