Chris Kiehne’s zombie-inspired Pray for Daylight originally came out in 2008 as a 5-song EP, but only because half the album was lost in one of those crashed hard drive incidents you always hear about and hope never happens to you. Already having spent a few years on the project at the time, Kiehne decided to forego re-recording the lost tracks and just move on. He turned his attention to producing records by his friends (The National Lights and Sonya Cotton) and working on his next album, The Western Throne, which is nearly done and will hopefully see release this summer. Recently though, Kiehne decided to revive the lost songs, and recently finished re-recording them with his current band. The all new 10 song Pray for Daylight is now available as originally intended, and anyone with an ear for hushed, harmony-rich folk music with a subtle dark side shouldn’t hesitate to have a listen.
Pray for Daylight shares a striking similarity to The National Lights’ vastly underappreciated 2007 album The Dead Will Walk, Dear. Kiehne’s role on his friend Jacob Berns’ murderous song cycle was more of producer and side musician, and his own material features similarly gentle acoustic guitar/piano interplay and Cotton’s gorgeous harmony and backing vocals. But while that album’s overarching theme was of murdering your girlfriend and burying her body by the river, on Pray for Daylight Kiehne is much more interested in protecting his love from flesh eating undead creatures. It may not be your typical source material for a songwriter playing gentle, traditionally-minded folk music, but Kiehne doesn’t overdo it – in fact if you were never told of the B-movie-approved theme you’d likely think you were just listening to some evocatively written love songs in the musical vein of Our Endless Numbered Days.
“The Wind through Your Wounds” is one of the “resurrected” lost songs (get it? zombies?) and, with its heartbreaking vocal interplay between Kiehne and Cotton, is an obvious highlight. The beautiful and disturbing “A Special Providence” was originally released on the 5-song EP and remains intact. You can and should check those songs out below, but Kiehne is generously offering Pray for Daylight as a free download (it’s with his permission that I share the link to the entire album below). The songs are haunting and seamless – both old and new – and make for one of the year’s very best folk albums.
MP3 :: The Wind through Your Wounds
MP3 :: A Special Providence
(from Pray for Daylight. Info/stream here)
ZIP :: Pray for Daylight
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