Thursday, 2 November 2017

Lovesong: Joe Henry: Thrum

The new Joe Henry album 'Thrum' is a beguiling mixture of obtuse lyricism and sombre, sonic beauty. T'aint 'whistle test' catchy but, boy, does its timbre get under your skin.
The vinyl version is spread over 4 luxuriant, syrupy sides: noiseless and quite startling in clarity.
Joe's son Levon is the prime accompanist, offering wonderfully wheezy woodwind, whilst the long
standing rhythm section of bassist David Piltch and drummer Jay Bellerose stitch everything together with a gloriously funereal clatter and... thrum. There's some fine guest guitar from John Smith too.
Thus far it's hard to pick a favorite, although 'The Glorious Dead' and 'River Floor' (see the video below) are just lovely, whilst the subtle orchestrations of 'Keep Us in Song' shuffle and slide, broken backed, yet somehow standing tall.

When I've worked out what Joe's banging on about (“The bride throws off her veil onto the groom. Salvation’ meaning nothing but ‘consumed’”?) this might just rank as my 'Album of the Year' alongside Neil Finn's wondrous 'Out of Silence'. It's certainly my most silent vinyl purchase of 2107.
Instinctive, live and perfectly imperfect is the new black and it suits me just fine.
I like Joe Henry...

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