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Boomkat Product Review:
While the term 'freak folk' has been largely abandoned, that's precisely what Daniel Higgs' ancient Americana lunacy brings to mind - not because he affects a kooked up vocal intonation, or because he has a particularly outlandish beard (although that he can certainly lay claim to that), but simply because these four extended songs sound downright nuts. There's clearly a link to the American primitive references you'd hear in John Fahey's ragas or even the outsider wailing of Jandek, with Higgs alternating between impressive instrumental outings and vocally charged apocalyptic mythologizing. The opening 'Universal Salutation (Excerpt Recorded Aboard The Starship Weep-For-Lucifer)' is a virtuosic banjo piece, plucked in an ecstatic flurry of notes and prickly distortion, while 'Love Abides' is a heavily dramatised piece of storytelling in which Higgs channels a voice that's somewhere between Joanna Newsom and Jack Black's Tenacious D persona. Next up, 'Leontocephaline Rhapsody' is a stargazing psych trip based around instrumental repetitions and modal organ sequences, which cleanses the palate nicely before Higgs reactivates his over-expressive larynx for some more preposterous vocalising. Ridiculous from start to finish, Higgs' music is clearly a uniquely unhinged affair, straddling the divide between outsider weirdness and legitimately accomplished musicianship.