I thought I'd kick off this blog with an album close to my heart. Big Blood. A Maine duo consisting of Colleen Kinsella and Caleb Mulkerin, created this gem of an album in the May of 2010. 'Dark Country Magic' is, from what I can gather, their fourteenth collection of songs, written and recorded at their home, and dedicated to the wonderful author, Ursula Le Guin.
This is a wonderful mish mash of many different genres, the most prolific being that of folk and psychedelic rock. If you're not really into that, but c'mon, who wouldn't be?, then don't despair. This album is rich in experimentation and has very dark undertones in parts. There is a very lo-fi feel to the vocals from this outfit, and at times, the words are hard to make out. In my mind though, this doesn't detract from the haunting magic of the album, as the title suggests.
On first, highly anticipated listen to this album, it was definitely hard to get into. But then, after continued repeats, something clicked. Much like a maths sum you can't get your head around; annoying at first, but a great feeling when you finally figure it out. Listening to it, I also felt a strange sense of conclusion when the album ended, but in a good way. The beginning of this recording is dark, and somber, when compared to the end. The vocals are less distorted. The guitar sounds friendlier. I felt as though after the drug trip that was the beginning of album, the end was a much needed 'calm after the storm', and this gave a 'happy ending' feel to the twelve tracks as a whole.
The album is started with a very minimalistic track, with a lonely vocal lathered in reverb. This marks the start of my favourite song on the album 'Creepin' Crazy Time'. Again, the vocals are distorted, but the contrast in the singing, and the great sounding chorus makes for very interesting listening. Another track I enjoyed was 'She-Wander(er)', a brilliant song. Just fantastic sounds are made here, and generally, in the whole album!
If your a fan of folk, psychedelic or experimentation, then try this album out. Oh, and by the way, did I forget to mention that this album is free? Really?, I hear you ask. Yep. Available from their Free Music Archive page, along with the rest of their discography, there really isn't a reason you shouldn't try this out.