Song Of The Day

Water Liars: Starkly Sweet

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  • "Phanton Limb"
  • Album: Phanton Limb
  • Artist: Water Liars
  • Label: Misra
  • Released: 2012
 
On an album of rough-around-the-edges folk-rock, Water Liars' "Dog Eaten" stands out for its airy simplicity.

hide captionOn an album of rough-around-the-edges folk-rock, Water Liars' "Dog Eaten" stands out for its airy simplicity.

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Monday's Pick

Song: "Dog Eaten"

Artist: Water Liars

CD: Phantom Limb

Genre: Folk

Every day this week, Song of the Day will showcase a track by an artist playing the South by Southwest music festival. For NPR Music's full coverage of SXSW — complete with full-length concerts, studio sessions, blogs, Twitter feeds, video and more — visit npr.org/sxsw. And don't miss our continuous 100-song playlist, The Austin 100, which features much more of the best music the festival has to offer.

Water Liars' music is a low-key triumph of inspiration over ambition: Phantom Limb, the duo's shamblingly folksy and intermittently rocking debut, was recorded in rural Mississippi over the course of just a few days, without so much as a band name to go on. But singer-guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster (of the St. Louis rock group Theodore) and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bryant have crafted an unassuming sleeper, prone to fits of stark gorgeousness like "Dog Eaten."

Amid the album's rough-around-the-edges folk-rock, "Dog Eaten" stands out for its airy simplicity: The way Kinkel-Schuster's voice rings out, it sounds more suited to a cathedral than a basement, as he sings of bitter loss and a father's betrayal. But for all the world-weariness of his words, there's sweet, soaring gentility to his delivery in "Dog Eaten," in the spirit of kindred (and often similarly bearded) spirits like Horse Feathers, Iron & Wine and The Milk Carton Kids. There's a crowded marketplace for this sort of rustic heartsickness, sure, but it's hard not to succumb to the song's graceful beauty.

Purchase Featured Music

Phanton Limb

Purchase Music

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Phanton Limb
  • Artist: Water Liars
  • Label: Misra
  • Released: 2012
 

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