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Go to the Eric Chenaux website  Eric Chenaux - Dull Lights [Consterllation - 2006]

Dull Lights manages to balance between sounding heartbrokenly beautiful and haunting, with awkward, shambolic and wrong sounding musical edges. Instruments seem to wondered off at their own accord, seemingly unaware of song structure, the songs feel brittle, as if you were to the slightest pressure on them they'd fall apart, like a broken biscuit on a farmhouse kitchen floor.

Eric Chenaux artfully mixes bluegrass and folksy drunken strums with bareboned rock tones, along with improvised and experimental curls. Often he sounds like he's conducting some bizarre band from the American civil war, each person plays their heart out, trying to keep in tune and time with their mad conductor, as he marches like the pied piper of Hamelin, around a mid-afternoon town square, with his banjo or guitar hung loosely around his neck. Eric also conjures up some wonderful lyrics with his soulful and captivating wavering voice, like on the opener Skullsplitter where he sings about 'the gun powered all over me like green rice' and later on 'summer lightenings got its hooks in me'. For some reason his voice and musical turn of phrase brings to mind a more folky/ junk shop band take on Van Dyke Parks work, songs glittering and shining with aged Americana.

I can honestly say I've not been touched or intrigued, by an album so much in a very, very long time. Simple put an awkward bitter sweet masterpiece, which I'm sure you'll fall in love with too.

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

Roger Batty
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