Great Acoustic Duo from Portland Oregon
featuring the unique combination of Cello and Mandolin
Take what you think you know about folk music, Americana and the likes of that, crumple it up and set it on fire or something. Strangled Darlings have expert song writing, exquisite musicianship, funky beats, flowing melodies and a twisted sense of humor.
The phrase to sum up the fourth studio release for the duo Strangled Darlings (Boom Stomp King) may simply be: you can't take it with you. The effect of objects on our lives and the somewhat ridiculous worship we have of them binds the songs together. The routines of suburban life become their own sad, recognizable spirituality while we wait and wait to act.
Boom Stomp King was created under the self-imposed pressures of quitting the day jobs, selling of the personal effects and moving in a tiny RV. The goal was to head out into the ocean of America, away from the safe harbor of Portland.
The album was recorded at The Map Room Studio with Josh Powell in the early spring of 2014. There is an ode to modern media worship of a man who never sought the spot light in the song "Niel Armstrong", a song about the loss of self in the sea of OxyContin in "Home" and an ironic anthem to self-determination in "Kill Yourself".
Jess Anderly's bass/cello continues to challenge the notion of what a "bass line" must be. As she manhandles the groove, she wills her listeners to move. George Veech returns from his notebook of dark American observations and sings with a renewed intimacy and passion.
[the] music can feel organic and untethered, but these numbers, perhaps appropriately, have the handcrafted aspect of American quilts — colorful, stitched-to-each-other artifacts pieced together using the fabrics of dozens of other, older garments. This allows for a richness in texture, a sense of history and a sort of comfortable resonance with the past. Staccato circus-carny rap songs follow sweeping gypsy waltzes with Tom Waits edginess and the gangling grace of a Decemberists narrative.
Strangled Darlings song writing continues to mature as the compositions have become more intricate and weave a restive line between the poetic wording and the all-important groove. The duo continues to resist fitting neatly into a category but the album is as close to folk as they are likely to get. Boom Stomp King is an introduction to what you can expect at a Strangled Darlings show. The songs echo back the ineffable moments of music vibrating the air only to leave no trace of its existence beyond the thoughts inside the listener.
And maybe you can take that with you.
Self-described as literary doom pop, the duo of George Veech and Jessica Anderly juxatpose boisterous instrumentation with exacting sociopolitical lyricism in ways that fashionably blur the lines of blues and bluegrass.