Damon & Naomi – False Beats and True Hearts

January 01, 1970





a four year break after their last record (Within
These Walls
) the Boston, Mass., duo return with their 7th studio
record and it sounds as warm and enticing as all of their previous ones. Don’t
think they’ve been sitting around watching Hogan’s
reruns, though; they reissued 1992 debut More Sad Hits on their 20/20/20 imprint, put together a compilation
of their tenure on Sub Pop entitled The
Sub Pop Years
and issued a DVD, Don’t
Let Our Youth Go To Waste
, about early band Galaxie 500. The pair also operates a small
publishing house, Exact Change. These two musicians rarely rest.


again bringing in reinforcements from Japan, in the name of their pal from
Ghost (Michio Kurihara), they manage to add zest to folk songs that, in the
wrong hands, could be dreadfully boring. The record opens with “Walking
Backwards,” one of the noisier compositions on the record with some wild guitar,
and then drifts beautifully into the gorgeous, Naomi-sung “How Do I Say
Goodbye,” one of the band’s best songs ever. Another song with Naomi on vocals,
“Shadow Boxing,” follows and adds strummy, acoustic guitar to her gorgeous pipes. (Perhaps her
strongest vocal performance on record is the billowing, cascading “Nettles and
Ivy.”)  What seems to be missing from
this record that has hampered Damon & Naomi records in the past , if just a
bit, are the long forays into otherworldly psych, territory that end up being
more plodding than anything but there’s very little of it here. (a touch of it
in “What She Brings”). They trimmed the fat on these 9 songs and the record is
all the stronger for it.


Two decades
after the demise of Galaxie 500, the band they are mostly remembered for, it
would be nice if folks finally gave them the respect they deserve for their own body of work.


“How Do I Say Goodbye”, “Shadow Boxing”, “Ophelia”, “Nettle and Ivy” TIM






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