Artist : Danny Short
Title : Sunset Kicks In
Lable : Self-released
Date : 30th November 2012
Available from : I-Tunes
In which Mr Short provides his most ambitious and satisfying album to date – which is saying a lot given the previous ones have all been pretty damn good. This is a masterpiece frankly, and I cannot find sufficient superlatives to describe how wonderful it is.
Let’s be straight from the outset a lot of Danny’s influences are in here – you will hear references from The Beatles, Syd/Early Floyd, The Fall, some Gabriel era Genesis, free jazz, and some Richard Youngs and maybe a smattering of Jandek in there somewhere. It moves from gloriously loud garage punk through post-punk, psychedelia, gentle acoustic folk, experimental pop to gorgeous pastoral tunes with smatterings of ambience. However it does not display these influences in an obvious manner and is singularly a Danny Short album.
The difference from the previous albums, I think, is the attention to structure and variety, I’ve always been very fond Danny’s song-craft but this time round he appears to have moved even further away from conventional structures and included even more of the more experimental aspects of his craft (as evidenced in his DDS work) in the pieces. Take “From Afar”, for example, which manages to meld near discordance with a elegiac pop sound.
There are several stand-out tracks on the album – the opener “Tell Me You Want Me” really sets the tone, and the lively “I May Know” is blessed with some fabulous drumming. The pure pop of “Who Can I Turn To” is memorable. The stripped back “Don’t Kill Him Now” is beautifully put together. The manc-pop (with added bits of post-punk) of “Aftershave and Perfume” could prove to be a bit of a classic I reckon.
There is a definite psychedelic feel to a lot of the material which reflects a late 60s sounds but brings with it a modernist aesthetic through either laminal sounds or bubbling percussion. Also, I have to say, the production values are once again stunning, given that this is all recorded on a home studio set-up.
There are three bonus tracks on the review copy – i’m not sure if these will be included in the final release. The first is the 13 minute epic “Shapes Are Worse…But Then” which begins with picked guitar and washes of sound and develops into something that is best described as “progressive” and “serial” with both minimal repetition (a bit Steve Reich) and monumental banks of synthesis and then morphs into, via a series of visceral experimental noises into pure avant garde/modernist classical in the spirit of Stockhausen/AMM. The closing section is a delightful combination of sounds which creates a unique feel. The second track is a great pop-rock tune full of jangling guitar called “What About Me?” which is very more-ish. Matters conclude with a demo version of a track called “Farewell To You”.
A marvellous album.