Boomkat Product Review:
I can't say I've ever come across North Carolina-based David Karsten Daniels before but on the strength of the rather fabulous cover art I just knew this record would appeal to me. Featuring a gorgeously inked drawing of a naked (and rather hairy) feller eating the winding intestines of his female (and similarly hirsute) companion I was left wondering if there was any way I couldn't fall in love with David Karsten Daniels. Well thank goodness then that the music is just so darned good, not long into the opening track it becomes clear that Daniels is a singer songwriter with a difference, and he isn't afraid to shock people into submission. Fans of Sufjan Stevens, Bonny 'Prince' Billy, Elliott Smith and Fat Cat's own Amandine should no doubt take note, but what struck me as soon as I was greeted by 'The Dream Before the Ring that Woke me' (a sentiment I'm sure we're all familiar with) was the songwriter's similarity with the wonderful Aimee Mann (and her collaborative work with producer du jour John Brion). Eschewing the glossy production of Brion, Daniels instead revels in a home-recorded charm with tape noise and saturated percussion taking centre stage, and this works surprisingly in the album's favour, giving it a warmth and sincerity rarely heard in the genre. Daniels' charm as a vocalist too is evident from the off, as he lends an intelligent mind to the lyrics without sounding pretentious, and dwelling on the melancholy while letting a humour and lightness sink in. A gorgeous album and a fantastic addition to the Fat Cat roster, it's rare we get albums of this quality so early in the year so I implore you not to overlook this softly spoken gem. Huge recommendation.