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Nathaniel Shannon and the Vanishing Twin - Trespasses [Aqualamb Records - 2016]

Trespasses is the startling full-length debut from the Brooklyn-via-Detroit artist Nathaniel Shannon and the Vanishing Twin. The record features fifteen tracks. These are the accumulation of nearly a decade of bedroom recordings by singer and multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Shannon. Originally thought lost in the chaos of several breakups and subsequent moves throughout Brooklyn, Trespasses is an album that almost never was.

Beginning with the track “Debutantes” this 15 track album is a slow lugubrious beast. There is a sparseness and emptiness to each of the tracks that all revolve around Nathaniels deep baritone voice, distorted bass and clean guitar.

This is lo-fi Tom Waits. It’s guttural and unpleasant, yet with this there is such a depth of emotion you are dragged on into the album regardless. Doom-ladened doesn’t do this album justice. It is not an album you find yourself enjoying, it’s more an album you find you need to explore to seek for some chink of light somewhere in it. It’s not there, but you keep looking. This is one mans’ life journey drawn out for you in black and white, and there’s not a lot of white used.

As the albums progresses past the mid way point we discover there’s a beat. And no, these don’t improve the mood, the songs don’t speed up, there’s no catchy pop tune lurking round the corner. Nathaniels hell is your pleasure, and you are made to sit through each and every layer of his hell.

Trespasses is good. I doubt you’d would revisit this often unless you knew you’d feel better for listening to it. “There’s always someone worse off than yourself” is the moral of this tale. You can’t enjoy the atmospheres, they are there to show you the worst not for fun. But Christ, things aren’t as bad for you as they are in Nathaniels world so stop complaining!

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Adam Skyes
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