DUKE GARWOOD – Heavy Love

Album: Heavy Love

Artist: Duke Garwood

Label: Heavenly/[PIAS] America

Release Date: February 10, 2015

Duke Garwood 2-10

http://pias-america.com

BY MICHAEL TOLAND

British guitarist Duke Garwood most recently made music nerd headlines with Black Pudding, his collaborative LP with fellow traveler Mark Lanegan, for whom he also works as a sideman. He has a solo career going back to the mid-’aughties, however, and Heavy Love is its latest issue. Lanegan comparisons are unavoidable, and not only because of the pair’s recent work together: Garwood favors a similar late-night psychedelic vibe, and his voice sounds like Lanegan’s if the latter had never picked up smoking.

But saying Garwood is a clone of his sometime-employer isn’t quite accurate, either. Despite his place of birth, Garwood is far more cloaked in the mysteries of American folk and country blues than Lanegan. Atmospheric slithers like “Snake Man,” “Honey in My Ear” and “Disco Lights” (which also features Savages’ Jehnny Beth on subliminal vocals) sound as if he soaked his ax in the swamp water of some unnamed Mississippi parish before he sat down in the front of the microphone. The sun does break through the clouds from time to time, as on “Sweet Wine” and (ironically) “Suppertime in Hell,” but the volume setting stays on “enigmatic brood” for most of the program. Garwood really brings his acid blues whisper back home on the final track, as “Hawaiian Death Song” closes the LP with a ghostly shimmer worthy of 16 Horsepower.

Sparsely produced by Garwood and Alain Johannes with minimal accompaniment, Heavy Love uses the ethereality on the surface to make a powerful impression below.

DOWNLOAD: “Hawaiian Death Song” “Disco Lights,” “Snake Man”

 

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