Boomkat Product Review:
Daniel Martin Moore's relationship with Sub Pop began when last year he delivered an unsolicited demo to the label's head office - not something that would ordinarily be well-received by indie institutions as big and fancy as Sub Pop - but after being suitably wowed by the Kentuckian's acoustic toils, the label sent him to the studio with Joe Chiccarelli, who has previously worked on albums by The Shins, The White Stripes and even U2. Stray Age is something of a freak occurrence: aside from the whole business of it stemming from a demo plucked from the ether, it's an album that's at first subtle and softly spoken to the point of being too trad and low key for its own good. Oddly though, for all its convention and ostensible ordinariness, there's undoubtedly a very special something nestled away beneath the surface of these unassuming arrangements, and there's a peculiarly reassuring quality to Daniel's voice which is fairly hard to come by. The up-close recording strategy really brings the very best out of these songs and the album really comes to life when the contributing musicians step in to amp up the volume. The harmonies on 'Restoration Sketches' are up there with Abba's multitracked vocal parts in terms of tightness and all round accomplishment - there's nothing about this album that feels as if it's lacking, and clearly the presence of the big name producer and a solid line-up of contributing musicians (who between them have previously adorned albums by Beck and Tori Amos) elevates Moore's songcraft to a level of assuredness few debuting artists could strive for. A bit of a slow burner, but this one comes highly recommended.