[mp3] Benjamin Shaw – “How to Test the Depth of a Well”

“How to Test the Depth of a Well” is a creaky, buzzing art/folk ballad from Benjamin Shaw’s captivating new record There’s Always Hope, There’s Always Cabernet.  True story – the other night I had the album on as I was playing with my daughters and one of them asked if there were ghosts in the house.  I said “No, of course not.  Why would you ask that?”  She said, “This music makes me think of ghosts.”  She’ll be 3 in a few weeks.  Not to be all “my kids say the darndest things” or whatever, but I thought that was worth mentioning – there’s definitely something sort of creepy about these songs, like they’re floating in from some distant, haunted dimension.  Most of the songs are built on simple piano and/or acoustic guitar parts and Shaw’s weary vocals, but are usually layered with static or gently unsettling noises that create a sense of complete uneasiness.  For the most part they edge along at impossibly slow paces and a few get quite noisy (“Somewhere over the M6”, one of the better songs here, accomplishes both with frightening wonderful results).  Think Sparklehorse’s quieter, spaced-out folk songs and you may have a sense of what’s happening here.  There hasn’t been a flood of really great new full lengths to begin 2012, but this is easily the best one I’ve heard yet.  Highly recommended.

MP3  ::  How to Test the Depth of a Well

(from There’s Always Hope, There’s Always Cabernet. Buy here)

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