I’ve long admired the music of
Daniel Johnston. The simple innocence in each of his songs and the shambling,
unbalanced uniqueness of his music and style. Paleo brings a lot of that
childlike simplicity inherit in Johnston’s music, along with some of the
off-kilter whimsy of Jeffrey Lewis. A
View of The Sky is an endearing album with intimate music, aggressively
eccentric lyrics and shamelessly quirky tunes. They sound like what you’d get
if you rubbed Johnston and Lewis together and added a touch of the last Iron
and Wine album with its lush, exotic mix of instruments.
David Andrew Strackany, Paleo,
is the modern personification of the Gypsy troubadour, living out of his car
and traveling from gig to gig across the nation for the last six years, which
naturally invokes a lot of inspiration to his writing. While ‘Sky’ is only his third album (13
songs), he is perhaps most famous for his Song
Diary DVD, which covers 365 songs he wrote, covering an entire year, and is
over 17 hours long. Talk about hyper creativity!
Also very impressive is the
proliferation of instruments he plays on his albums. They include; electric,
acoustic and classical guitars, vibraphone, glockenspiel, mandolin, ukulele,
recorder, dulcimer, marimba, Casio, drums, bass and piano, plus a friend on
trumpet, to flavor each tune. It’s a simple but eloquent production that keeps
a lo-fi ambiance throughout the album. In
2007, he contributed to the rather downbeat soundtrack of the award
winning indie film, In Search of A Midnight Kiss, along with The Mendoza
Line, Okkervil River and Shearwater. One press release
called music from this album “vivid scrawls of a remarkable mind.” It also
quoted him as saying a couple of years ago, “I want to make a great record.
That’s still the gold star in this business.” I’d say that he easily hit it out
of the park with this effort and attained that gold star.
DOWNLOAD: “Man Oh Man (Why Oh Why)”, “Everything Must Go.” BARRY