A Ghostly Voice That Swoops and Swoons

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Hurry Home Dark Cloud"
  • Artist: Pinetop Seven
  • CD: Beneath Confederate Lake
  • Genre: Chamber-Pop

"Hurry Home Dark Cloud" begins unassumingly enough, as a strummed acoustic guitar paves the way for banjoes and sleigh bells. But this is a Pinetop Seven song, and in Pinetop Seven songs, calm austerity rarely fails to swell into something broader and more ambitiously dramatic.

Pinetop Seven

Pinetop Seven's elegantly obtuse songs are virtually impossible to pigeonhole. hide caption

itoggle caption

Even by the band's own standards of ornate beauty, "Hurry Home Dark Cloud" — the peak and centerpiece of Beneath Confederate Lake, an odds-and-ends collection recorded during the making of last year's lovely The Night's Bloom — sounds especially striking. Singer Darren Richard's voice swoops and swoons elegantly, even operatically, making it the key instrument in a mix rife with strings, organs, and bells.

What Richard lacks in willingness to enunciate — his songwriting reads like obtuse but evocative poetry, making a lyric sheet a worthwhile companion piece — he makes up for in presence, as his voice meshes perfectly with Pinetop Seven's lavish, lovely instrumentation. On "Hurry Home Dark Cloud," the collision sounds otherworldly, even downright ghostly.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Purchase Featured Music

Beneath Confederate Lake

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Beneath Confederate Lake
Artist
Pinetop Seven

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.